Politics and leadership


Sir, – I would have thought that a party that has seen its membership grow from 700 to 2,700 in the past two years, and which is now enjoying the success of a resounding result in the recent general election, would be keen to partake in the business of running the country, but not so it seems (Harry McGee, “Greens essentially remove themselves from the equation”, Analysis, March 26th).

In the throes of a global meltdown and the absolute necessity for urgent government action on several fronts, the Green Party seems content to sit idly by while responsible leaders such as Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin, both of whom have excelled in their leadership roles, are working tirelessly to form a government.

In the run-up to the general election, the Green Party enjoyed the fair wind of a complacent electorate.

In the current climate of fear and uncertainty that complacency has all but evaporated.

Eamon Ryan owes a debt of gratitude to his many new converts to a Green philosophy by stepping up to the mark and helping to form a new, stable government.

He should do so without further delay. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 5.

Sir, – Graeme Guthrie (Letters, March 26th) would like to re-run the election in the hope that Fine Gael would receive 90 seats due to its performance in dealing with our present crisis.

A bigger question is why we are in the mess we are in.

Is it due to the austerity imposed by previous governments and their reckless lack of investment in our public services? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 22.

Sir, – Judging by the content of the letters published in The Irish Times recently, the consensus view would appear to be that those in charge are showing mature political leadership at a time when it is needed most.

To express criticism of their efforts to date may well be deemed unpatriotic at a time when it is essential that we all pull together.

However, the political future of this country will be decided when the dust has settled on the current crisis and, like the man who inspired much of his recent address to the nation, the Taoiseach may find that, like Winston Churchill, he and the interests he represents are dumped by an ungrateful nation. – Yours, etc,




A chara, – While I have read the full text of Bunreacht na hÉireann many years ago, I must admit I am not au fait with the niceties of government formation as outlined therein. A friend of mine who has read and re-read the document was discussing the impasse which now faces us and he made the following suggestion.

Let Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin abstain in a vote to elect the taoiseach, thereby allowing the re-election of Leo Varadkar to that office.

The new taoiseach would then proceed to nominate 11 members for the new Seanad (as per the Constitution) as follows: three Fine Gael, three Fianna Fáil, three Sinn Féin and two “others”.

The Dáil and Seanad would be then duly and properly constituted and both Houses of the Oireachtas could then pass legislation, if needed, to deal with the present Covid-19 emergency.

When the pandemic has subsided – or in a set time period of, say, three months – the taoiseach could go to Áras an Uachtaráin and offer his resignation to the President.

The President could then ask all the parties in the Dáil to commence or recommence government formation talks, with a view to putting together a new government for the next five years.

There would be no fear of a “power grab” here by Fine Gael because at any stage the other parties in the Dáil could vote out the government.

I suggest this proposal because, to my mind, there can and should be only one priority for all our politicians at present – the health and wellbeing of the Irish nation. Nothing else.

Trying to form a new government on the one hand while trying to manage a national emergency on the other would surely result in catastrophe. – Is mise,



Co Cork.