Finding the numbers to govern

Sir, –It would seem that in the absence of a Sinn Féin-mobilised left, a free-range, corn-fed, macrobiotic, gluten-free Fianna Fáil-led coalition will assume control of the State now. We, the electorate, have spoken. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.


Sir, – In 1994 Democratic Left went into a coalition government with Fine Gael and others. I would suggest that the programme of Democratic Left was a lot more radical than what Sinn Féin offers. In the North, Sinn Féin and the DUP must work together and have done so on and off for two decades. All of these political parties work closely on councils and county councils and the sky hasn’t fallen in. – Is mise,


Clondalkin, Dublin 22.

Sir, – It took Sinn Féin four days to count to 160. Little wonder then that there is huge scepticism as to how the figures in its manifesto can add up. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – I listened to the usually admirable Simon Coveney on the radio this week suggesting that the message sent by the electorate in the election was that they did not like the confidence and supply arrangement. I think he misses the point.

I believe the electorate don’t give a toss whether the government would be by confidence and supply, coalition or any other configuration.

The message, loud and clear, was that the electorate were not happy with the foot-dragging on areas of vital social interest and that they want whoever should form the next government to address those concerns hastily!

Should Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens form a coalition and deliver stable government, build social housing, reform health, address various other social reforms, and a host of climate-protection measures, including connectivity to the grid for small power producers, the electorate might well be satisfied that the convulsions of the last election were not in vain. – Yours, etc,


Fermoy, Co Cork.

Sir, – On what authority does Sinn Féin criticise both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil for not wanting to enter into talks with them in the formation of a new government, even though this was clearly indicated by both parties long before a single vote was cast?

In the North, Sinn Féin tells the electorate that it will not take its seats in Westminster and that it cannot go back on a solemn promise to their electorate, even if conditions change, such as Brexit.

However, in the South it is okay to chastise parties for not wanting to enter talks with Sinn Féin to take up seats in government, even though this was a solemn promise to their electorate. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Given the result of this election, this country is ungovernable.

What we need now is another election in which the people of this country are going to have to make up their minds if they want a higher-spending government or a lower-spending government.

Do we want the risks and uncertainties of high spending, the results of which we saw in 2010 when the country went broke and had to be bailed out?

Or do we want a continuation of the less than perfect public services we had since the collapse in 2010 for a bit longer, but with the country living within its means and not in danger of going broke again if things outside our control like Brexit go wrong?

A clear decision on that is needed.

That needs another election. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.