‘The Path Ahead’ – going round in circles?


Sir, – As Taoiseach Micheál Martin trotted down the steps of Government Buildings to deliver his latest dose of meaningfulness to the weary, I wondered would it have been better if he had just kept going instead of stopping to delivery his speech.

As the Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald put it so hilariously on RTÉ Six One News, in reference to the Government, “They need to pull themselves together, they need to give themselves a shake.”

Unfortunately, restrictions prohibit such closeness but perhaps with the right amount of doses of the vaccine this will happen soon, and before we have to listen to any more speeches. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.

Sir, – The Taoiseach, accompanied by two limp flags and a beige-carpeted stairway, spoke to the nation.

We are not impressed. We don’t want Garda Tik-Tok dance-offs being passed off as entertainment for a pissed-off nation burdened by oppressive policing that tells people they cannot take their kids to a beach for exercise.

The Coalition hasn’t a clue. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.

Sir, – The Taoiseach says, “The end is truly in sight.” Has that not always been the case? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 24.

Sir, – Listening to the Taoiseach’s address to the Irish people, it looks as if there really is no exit plan.

The key sources of the virus and its variants have entered through our ports and airports and this didn’t even get a mention in his statement.

What’s wrong with our Government that it has not, for example, put the airports into lockdown over the past months? – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Calling out the benchmarks that would allow reopening to continue, the deputy chief medical officer, while not providing any metrics, said that Nphet will be monitoring not only the rates of the disease but rates of compliance with the continuing restrictions (News, February 24th).

So even though the number of cases, etc, might decrease significantly, are we to believe that if we are not good boys and girls and exhibit high rates of compliance with the restrictions that the reopening will be delayed?

Another miscommunication, I presume. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – Locked down or locked up? – Yours, etc,



Co Tipperary.

Sir, – It makes no sense to implement a differentiated approach to quarantine measures in the face of a pandemic (“Varadkar defends ‘differentiated approach’ to mandatory quarantine”, News, February 24th).

The result of that strategy will be that waves of new variant infection will arrive in Ireland before we become aware that they exist and add their countries of origin to the list.

It beggars belief that the Tánaiste, who is a qualified medical doctor, should believe otherwise and defend such a calamitous strategy. – Yours, etc,



A chara, – Has the Taoiseach forgotten about all the third-level students who are missing out on what should be the best years of their lives? Not a word that I could hear about them in his speech. – Is mise,


Dublin 14.

Sir, – Leo Varadkar recently posed a rhetorical question on radio. “Why would you put someone from the Isle of Man into hotel quarantine when there is no Covid there?”

I would like to give one of many potential answers. Because they may have travelled to the Isle of Man form London, or even South Africa, or Brazil. – Yours, etc,



Co Kerry.

Sir, – The Government, aided by Nphet, has launched an unprecedented and sustained assault on the people of this country. Businesses have been shuttered based on intuitions rather than evidence. Children have been denied their right to an education. Vulnerable people have been pushed to the periphery of society.

Fundamentally, the people have been misled, initially told that restrictions were to be short-lived, but we now have had almost a year’s worth of them, with Ministers competing to come up with new and inventive ways to limit and penalise people. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – As noted in “Micheál promises a new dawn but keeps us in the twilight zone” (Miriam Lord, Politics, February 24th), the Taoiseach confirmed that dates are not as important as data but then “didn’t overload his speech . . . with much data either”.

The Government could clearly define both the key indicator levels and the trends that need to be achieved by us all in order to move to each lower level of restriction, but it chose not to do so.

It continues to caveat all its plans around the ongoing supply of vaccines, yet refuses to publish the vaccine supply figures on a daily basis. In the vaccination priority list, a large cohort for priority vaccination is “key workers” yet it is impossible to get a clear definition as to who these “key workers” are.

Perhaps it’s that the Government believes the public cannot handle the truth.

Or perhaps, as many are beginning to believe, it’s that it may not know itself. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 15.