Televised debate – take us to our leader

Sir, – The Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael debate reminded me of one of those television wrestling matches – you enjoy the action, but sort of know that it is not for real. When can we see this Government confronted by the real Opposition, rather than the pretend Opposition? – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.


Sir, – The “debate” accurately reflected the state of Irish politics: remote, self-serving and visionless. Old phrases re-emerged and jolted the memory: “National Purchase Treatment Fund”, “incentivise developers”, “SSIA scheme”.

At one point I swore I saw Charlie McCreevy lurking in the shadows of the set.

When will we learn? Change nothing and nothing changes. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – What a non-event. The leaders of two parties effectively in coalition for the past four years in technical disagreement about how to misrule the country for another four years, with no alternative solutions between them to tackle the homelessness emergency, the healthcare crisis and tackling the vested interests of the banks and insurance industry that brought the country to its knees in the recent past.

The fact that the only real Opposition party was not represented and was indeed attacked without any chance to defend itself was another affront to democracy. – Yours, etc,




A chara, – A scoreless draw in this all-male contest presided over by another male. Let’s hope a bit more excitement can be generated in the return bout at RTÉ. – Is mise,


Hollywood, Co Wicklow.

A chara, – I was struck by how civil and articulate Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin were and how easy it was to listen to them. There was no trace of a Trump or a Boris or infantile one-liners. The debate was well moderated by Pat Kenny. – Yours, etc,




Co Meath.

A chara, – Watching the “big” debate on Wednesday between Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin, it’s still very obvious there is no great difference between them. They have always been “two halves” of a great party. Let’s not waste time. We are very tired of all this point-scoring, this posturing, and this making of promises that cannot be kept. This is a time of national crisis. The best way to “commemorate” the Civil War (whose wounds still fester) is for the two parties to unite and get us back in line with the caring, unselfish spirit of the first Dáil. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – It was all going so well for Micheál Martin until he resorted to the “global financial recession” excuse for the disgraceful bailout that was imposed on a government in which he served. He’s been doing a lot of pretend humility for the past few years but the masked slipped. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 7.

Sir, – Leo Varadkar listened carefully to the questions before he tried to answer them. Micheál Martin was impatient to rattle off his memorised talking points. And strangely enough, for this viewer at least, the Fine Gael leader came across as more sympathetic than Mr Martin, whose casual dismissal of Fianna Fáil’s role in the financial collapse was arrogant. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.