Sir, - At the end of the sorry saga of Stadium Ireland, we are told that the State's coffers are the poorer by about €440 million. The FAI is now left without any prospect of owning its own stadium and the IRFU is stuck in an antiquated Lansdowne Road.

It will be difficult to pluck any positives from this sad episode. The squandering of a vast amount of taxpayers' money seems to have resulted from the Taoiseach's decision to make Stadium Ireland a priority. It is frightening to think of all the extra money that might have been lashed out on this project if Mr Ahern had received more support in cabinet. It is also alarming to hear some Fianna Fáil backbenchers still saying that Mr Ahern should have ploughed ahead irrespective of the PDs' concerns.

Are so many of our politicians blinded by the trappings of power that they cannot see what the people of the country need and desire most? Our two-tier health system is unjust and crumbling. There is a frightening breakdown in law and order. The country roads are deteriorating rapidly from the weight of trucks for which they were never built.

The only positive that might emanate from the culling of this project is that fewer cabinet ministers and backbenchers might in future be inclined to follow the leader blindly.

Is there any possibility that the Government might question other major State expenditures? Do we need a Senate? Do we need a President?

After all, Ireland is a small country with a small population. Cuts are being made in areas of health and education. If somebody fine-combed all of the State's financial outlays it is highly probable that these basic essentials would improve.

It is amazing that there have not been any calls for Mr Ahern to consider his position. Surely a man who cannot prioritise the needs of his people is not fit to be leader of his party, let alone the country. - Yours, etc.,




Co Kerry.

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Sir, - Would the politicians of all kinds stick to politics, at which they are not very good, and leave sport, at which they are very bad, alone? -

Yours, etc.,


High Street,


Co Meath.