Political brinkmanship and the national interest

Sir, – “In the national interest.” I fear I will go mad if I hear that phrase again! But, “in the national interest”, Sinn Féin should abstain on Fianna Fáil’s motion of no confidence in Frances Fitzgerald. “In the national interest”, Fianna Fáil should abstain on the similar Sinn Féin motion, and everybody should, “in the national interest”, get on with the well-paid jobs they have undertaken to do. And probably, “in the national interest”, Fine Gael should call a general election some time in the spring. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.


Sir, – Further to Santa Claus’s request for Christmas post (November 25th), I assume he has already placed all the boys and girls of Dáil Éireann on the naughty list. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.

A chara, – Isn’t it a pity that Dáil business is not covered by a sanity clause. – Is mise,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Are we really going to have a general election that no one really wants, involving politicians that are respected less and less, over an issue that the general public doesn’t really understand or see as material enough to bring down a Government? I fear we will end up voting for turkeys at Christmas. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – As with the water charges issue, Fianna Fáil has once again been spooked and upstaged by Sinn Féin. Had the latter party not moved to put down a motion of no confidence in Frances Fitzgerald, it is probable that the Russian roulette of the past few days would never have occurred.

In allowing Sinn Féin to set the agenda once again, Micheál Martin raises questions over his judgment and suitability as a potential future government leader.

In the national interest, Fianna Fáil must ponder the importance of the upcoming Brexit negotiations and the ongoing problems with housing, homelessness and the health system. This impasse provides Fianna Fáil with a gilt-edged opportunity to show patriotism and put the country before party-political gain.

To spurn such a chance will prove self-defeating and detrimental to its future prospects. – Yours, etc,



Co Mayo.

A chara, – So again no one is responsible.

The Garda Síochána is in a state of chaos . The whistleblowers have had no relief after six years of Fine Gael in government.

Not a good time to go to the country for validation. Leo will be punished. – Is mise,


An Charraig Dhubh,

Co Bhaile Átha Cliath.

Sir, – It is beyond belief that the political poltroons in Leinster House have decided to have an ego-fuelled confrontation that will result in an unwanted, unnecessary and probably inconclusive general election.

At the very moment when European leaders are meeting to decide the next step in the Brexit process, the future of the Irish Border and of the country are being put at risk by mindless, irresponsible politicians. Thelma and Louise are intent on driving the country off a cliff. Truly those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.

Sir, – It would be perfectly within President Michael D Higgins’s power to refuse a dissolution of the Dáil and ask Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin to bury the civil war hatchet and form a coalition government for the remainder of the lifetime of this parliament.

A government of equal partners formed by the two largest political parties would be in a greatly strengthened position to negotiate Brexit, sending the clearest signal to the British government, the DUP and the EU at large that we are ready to do the unthinkable to defend our national interest.

In the meanwhile the Charleton tribunal could get on with investigating the issues that have sparked the current crisis.

Now that would be a Christmas present worth having. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.

Sir, – Politics isn’t just about winning; it’s about doing the right thing. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.

Sir, – So, Sinn Féin won’t participate in the Westminster government, refuses to form a government in Northern Ireland and wants to destroy the Government here? Sinn Féin – “We Ourselves” – is well named. – Yours, etc,


Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Even if the Tánaiste somehow survives the current political crisis, it is clear that her political career will never be the same again.

In May 2016, when it first became publicly known that Nóirín O’Sullivan had instructed her lawyers to attack Maurice McCabe’s motivation at the O’Higgins commission, Clare Daly told Frances Fitzgerald in the Dáil that it was time to sack the then-Garda commissioner.

The TD memorably warned the Minister that if she did not act against Ms O’Sullivan, then “she’s going to take you with her”.

How remarkably prescient those words may yet prove to be. – Yours, etc,


Arbour Hill,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – Is the lady for turning? – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – When it comes to memory lapses, Micheál Martin, the nursing home charges, glasshouses and stone-throwing cannot help but come to mind. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – If there is to be an election that nobody wants, why can it not be held on a Sunday, as in most European countries? Schools would not be interrupted, and it would suit everyone who works away from home, including students. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – “God rest ye merry canvassers, May nothing you dismay”. – Yours, etc,



Co Westmeath.

Sir, – Come, come, Sir! A little less of the avuncular posturing, if you please (“General election should be avoided”, Editorial, November 25th).

The political bubble, as you call it, would have little gas in it if it were not furiously pumped by your and RTÉ’s hyperbolic reporters and commentators, all slavering over the juicy prospect of a general election. – Yours, etc,



Co Roscommon.

Sir, – Holding a general election because you want to improve the Department of Justice is somewhat like buying a new hairdryer because your shoes hurt your feet. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – It would appear that, given the opportunity to destroy the country for the second time in 10 years, Fianna Fáil can’t wait to grasp it. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.

Sir, – Did we need reminding just how self-centred our TDs are? I am asking that they don’t come near me. I am as mad as hell and I am not going to be polite anymore. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.

Sir, – It takes me 10 minutes to vote. I can take time out from my busy Christmas schedule. If the politicians are reluctant to forgo their rest, let them not go out knocking on doors and not put up all those posters: no-one will mind. – Yours, etc,



Co Mayo.

Sir, – Let us not forget in all the confusion raised by the above who is really responsible for the political crisis.

I refer to the Garda Síochána, that same State body that told us earlier in the week that such was the enormity of the breathalyser scandal that we should just forget all about it. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 13.