Stephen Donnelly’s move to Fianna Fáil


Sir, – Luke Martin (February 7th) tells us that Stephen Donnelly’s move to join “a well-organised party” is “prudent”.

Is that the same well-organised party that presided over government for more than a decade and whose members made reckless decisions which ended up bankrupting the country in 2010?

Is that the same well-organised party whose members are now complaining about the consequences of those decisions – underfunded public services, massive national debt, etc – and blaming everyone else for what happened?

Given the external challenges facing this country at the moment, I do not think that going back to the people who failed us so spectacularly in the past, no matter how well connected and well organised they are, is a good idea. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 13.

Sir, – Further to Una Mullally’s opinion piece “Why Stephen Donnelly’s migration to FF is so dispiriting” (February 6th), there exists in any political party, not merely Fianna Fáil, a cohort of people who do not conform to the perceived norm. It is also not unreasonable to make the statement that Mr Donnelly could have comfortably retained his seat in Wicklow/East Carlow as an Independent yet still have achieved very little by way of national policy.

His migration allows for an articulate and dedicated public servant, such that he is, to leave a lasting impact.

Perhaps the author should venture from the moral high ground which she apparently holds in fee simple and make an effort to appreciate why many people have joined Fianna Fáil since 2011 but also, if the polls are any indication, why some 27 per cent of the electorate now associate the party with their first preference. – Yours, etc,



Co Louth.

Sir, – Una Mullally’s disappointment at Stephen Donnelly’s defection to Fianna Fáil is palpable.

One feels she would not have been as disappointed if he had been even more strategic and went into Fine Gael, the party in Government.

However, I must object to your columnist’s characterisation of anyone who thinks Stephen Donnelly’s move is “smart and strategic” as being the same sort of people who think that Michael O’Leary should run the health service.

On the contrary, I for one would like to see Stephen Donnelly as minister for health in the next government. He might succeed in rationalising our two-tier healthcare system that costs more per capita than that of most other countries, is systematically discriminatory and seems incapable of righting itself. – Yours, etc,




Cois Fharraige,

Co na Gaillimhe.