Geography is destiny in politics?

 

Sir, – Again we witness the outrage of disappointed political hopefuls as they rail against their exclusion from a share in the spoils of victory. This highlights the fact that we still revere clientelism in this country .

Coupled with industrial quantities of hubris on the part of those not selected for imminent greatness, the situation does not bode well for any expectations of political maturity. – Yours, etc,

GERRY WALKER,

Tinahely,

Co Wicklow.

A chara, – Since when is Kerry not in the west? Or is it that women from the west do not count? – Is mise,

SARA-JANE O’BRIEN,

Dublin 7.

Sir,– The 14 Ministers in the Cabinet are from a total of eight counties – six from Dublin, two each from Cork and Wicklow, and one each from Cavan/Monaghan, Kerry, Meath, and Offaly. This leaves 11 counties – not west of the Shannon – that lack a Government Minister too. Why then has there been no uproar from those counties? – Yours, etc,

MICK BOURKE,

Clane,

Co Kildare.

A chara, – Having read and listened to much of the commentary regarding the Taoiseach’s appointment of Ministers, one could be forgiven for thinking that Micheál Martin was Santa Claus, with a little ministerial present in his sack for everybody. Is it the job of Ministers to only look after their own patch, as seems to be inferred by some? Is it not the responsibility of all Ministers to do what is best for the country as a whole, irrespective of geographical location?

We all have our own views on the merits of those both appointed and omitted from Cabinet. It would be a bit much to expect unanimity on those views. At this time of great national and international crisis, however, I would much prefer to congratulate those appointed and commiserate with those who were disappointed on this occasion. As a long-time member of Fianna Fáil, I am very pleased that the party is back in Government after its near-obliteration in 2011, and I am especially pleased that the man who led its recovery is now Taoiseach. – Is mise,

TIM MAHER,

Inse Geimhleach,

Co Chorcaí.

Sir, – I am baffled. According to my calculations, of the 28 seats west of the Shannon from Donegal to Clare, seven went to Sinn Féin, seven to Fine Gael, six to Fianna Fáil, and eight to Independents. Michael Fitzmaurice TD (Independent) held up a sheet showing the distribution of Ministers, with none west of the Shannon. In light of the result of the general election, why do people find this surprising? – Yours, etc,

ANNE BARDEN,

Drogheda,

Co Louth.

Sir, – Now that we have consigned Civil War politics to the bin, maybe we could turn our attention to doing the same with that old institution in Irish politics, parish-pump politics.

We elect our TDs to run the country and expect management to select those most able and with the requisite qualities to run the various departments. The part of the country from which you come should not be one of those qualities. Neither should it be a case of “jobs for pals”. There are local representatives well able to handle local affairs, and length of time in one position is not an automatic qualification for a different position. – Is mise,

DONAL KNIGHT,

Naas,

Co Kildare.

Sir, I do not care if the entire Cabinet comes from Darndale or Hackballscross, as long as the most suitable people are appointed. Any other process is parochial, unprofessional and reeks of cronyism. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN GRAHAM,

Dublin 13.

Sir, – The real issue is why Micheál Martin did not give a proper job to his deputy leader. This point has nothing to do with geography but is in defence of someone who has worked tirelessly for years. Promoting a novice TD, Norma Foley, and Stephen Donnelly, who is new to the party and has no track record, seems to be a big mistake. – Yours, etc,

RUTH RYAN,

Dublin 4.

Sir, – If Cabinet members have been chosen for their ability and not their region, it appears that politicians in Dublin, Wicklow and Cork are infinitely more able than those in the west. Good to know. – Yours, etc,

CATHERINE FORDE,

Carrignavar,

Co Cork.