Fianna Fáil and coalition talks

 

Sir, – Micheál Martin says “what is clear is that the public is looking to us to provide clarity on forming a new government” (“We need a fully functioning government”, Opinion & Analysis, April 30th). In a display of humility on his part, he neglects to mention who he believes should lead that government.

What is the basis for this view? At the general election last February, the public gave almost equal support to three parties which they knew were incompatible as coalition partners. While they seemed to want to eject Fine Gael from office, they chose to vote in a way which could not secure that outcome.

Since the election, there has been a surge in support to Fine Gael as a result of the Government’s assured handling of the Covid-19 crisis, to an extent that the party now has almost double the support of Fianna Fáil, according to the most recent opinion poll.

How does this demonstrate that the public wants a new government, led by Mr Martin?

Éamon de Valera famously said, “If I wish to know what the Irish want, I look into my own heart.” With his ambition to become taoiseach hanging by a thread, it seems another leader of Fianna Fáil has decided to follow the same approach. – Yours, etc,

BARRY WALSH,

Clontarf,

Dublin 3.

Sir, – In his criticism of Micheál Martin for engaging in policy development and coalition negotiations with Fine Gael, Séamus Ó Néill, president of the Waterford Fianna Fáil constituency executive, states that this will bring “further deterioration and the decline of Fianna Fáil” (Letters, May 1st). He also asks Mr Martin to consider “stepping down and making way for a new leader who can rebuild our party”.

At any time, but particularly In the middle of a crisis, the fortunes of individual political parties are of little concern to the vast majority of the general public, and should not be cited as a reason for undermining Micheál Martin for putting the rebuilding of the country above partisan party politics, as Leo Varadkar has also done. – Yours, etc,

CHRIS FITZPATRICK,

( Fianna Fáil member),

Dublin 6.