Forming a government

Sir,– Writing about the formation of the next government, Michael McDowell (Opinion & Analysis, January 22nd) states that neither Fianna Fáil nor Fine Gael will countenance going into government with Sinn Féin.

If the numbers stack up, either Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael will, as surely as night follows day, cut a deal with Sinn Féin.

Sure, didn’t Fianna Fáil ditch a “core value” when it entered “a temporary little arrangement” with the once “radical” but now thankfully “redundant” Progressive Democrats after the 1989 general election? And didn’t the right-wing Fine Gael cross the political Rubicon by sharing power with the quintessential socialist party Democratic Left? – Yours, etc,




Co Dublin.

Sir, – Nollaig MacCanna is right regarding a grand coalition of the two main parties (Letters, January 21st).

Our small, open economy is about to face in to the headwinds of “global insecurity” and the life rafts are looking exceedingly worn and tattered.

Add to that the confusing sea of demands from sectional interests and the irresponsible behaviour of some of the smaller parties and Independents. All in all, the vista looks bleak at this early stage of the campaign.

Major decisions, some of which will be decidedly unpleasant, will be necessary in the medium term.

Unpalatable as some may be, they will need rock-solid support if the country is to survive and maintain its current level of development.

There is little hope for fiscal prudence if one of the centre-right parties finds itself at loggerheads with one of the populist groups that are currently vying for a place at the table. For the sake of the economy and peaceful co-existence with our unionist neighbours, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil must finally bury the Civil War hatchet. Anything less will see a return to auction politics, or perhaps worse. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 5.

A chara, – We need a coalition of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, in opposition. – Is mise,



Co Wicklow.