Forming a new government


Sir, – The political parties have agreed to resume “in-depth detailed talks” towards forming a new government (News, March 18th).

Given that, at the moment, our country does not know what is going to happen from one day to the next, may I suggest that we pause any further discussions about forming a new government?

Right now we absolutely need people who have been working together long enough to have built up good working relationships to allow for the flexibility required during the crisis we are now facing. Allocating government departments to new ministers would create huge uncertainty, which would only be counterproductive at this time. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.

Sir, – Stephen Collins observes, “The will of the people (in the recent election) was clearly expressed and the result means that at the very least Fine Gael will have to conclude a partnership arrangement with Fianna Fáil to retain a share of power” (“Varadkar should hold power until crisis ends”, Opinion & Analysis, March 20th).

This is simply not true. There are other coalition options for Fine Gael.

Stephen Collins further suggests that “left-wing forces” did not always put the “national interest first”.

This is either your columnist talking to himself or innuendo designed to slight other political entities without mentioning any names and thus avoiding the necessity of providing examples to his readers of what is being claimed.

It is obvious to many readers that Stephen Collins has decided to put his weight, such as it is, behind efforts to ensure that the establishment parties hang on to power and that he refuse to recognise that the electorate rejected the fiscal ideology of both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and sought change.

The coronavirus has shown, for those willing to see, the folly of “small government”, a core policy of both parties, which sees us now with diminished State services and the almost total absence of a safety net of any kind in many vital areas. How anyone could be remotely happy to see a return to the status quo, given all that we have seen in recent times, is incredible. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – I don’t agree with Seán McCabe that we need a national government (Letters, March 17th). Now is not the time to have a raft of new ministers trying to find their bearings in new jobs. We have an experienced Taoiseach, a former minister for health and a former medical doctor to boot, and an experienced Government – and in recent days they have shown great judgment, better than that of the British government or the US administration.

Leo Varadkar, however, needs to have his authority confirmed by Dáil Éireann in order more effectively to continue his good work and that of his Government in responding to the Covid-19 crisis.

Accordingly, I believe he should be re-elected Taoiseach by the new Dáil forthwith on the understanding that he will stand down once the present crisis is over. He should then reappoint to their current positions all the members of the outgoing government who retained their seats in the recent general election, and fill the vacancies caused by the defeat of some ministers with nominees from other parties who are prepared to work with him in the national interest at this time.

Dealing with the Covid-19 crisis trumps the individual priorities of the parties in the Dáil – Brexit, climate change, housing, general health reform, a border poll, etc – and we need the commitment of all of them, as well as the experience of the current Taoiseach and his Ministers, to see us through the crisis. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.