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John Halligan and an interview

Sir, – Imagine if all current and former politicians were to offer to repay the State for the costs arising from their mistakes. – Yours, etc,

FRANK LYNCH,

Limerick.

A chara, – Noel Whelan gripes that John Halligan “doesn’t have any legally delegated function” (“John Halligan not cut out to be a Minister”, Opinion & Analysis, November 10th).

Mr Halligan has statutory delegated ministerial functions in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and in the Department of Education and Skills under statutory instruments 363/2017 and 333/2017. – Is mise,

Cllr JOE CONWAY,

Deputy Mayor,

Waterford

Metropolitan Council.

A chara, – Perhaps one of the things we could learn from the John Halligan episode would be drawn from words of his: “Too many workplaces have less than family-friendly arrangements, and I always ensure that my workplace is as family-friendly as possible.”

If he himself were to introduce legislation, and if the Oireachtas would agree, to make workplaces more family-friendly, the country would benefit (although businesses would perhaps not be so happy).

It would apply both to women and to men. It would in particular seek to eliminate the disadvantages which women may encounter in pregnancy and in childcare, but it would also enable and encourage men to play a fuller part in family care. It could even facilitate the family life of our elected representatives.

It would help bring about a country which puts society and community before economy. It would put human beings beyond being seen as units of production and consumption. It might even encourage our financial institutions and high net-worth individuals to avoid the Paradise Papers imbroglio.

I’m not holding my breath, but we can hope, and campaign, and work for it. – Is mise,

PADRAIG McCARTHY,

Sandyford,

Dublin 16.