The race for the Áras


Sir, – Words, language and promises must have meaning. These are the basic indispensable currency of political discourse. When candidates for election to high office tell us “this is what I will do”, that is actually all we have to go on.

Michael D Higgins looked into the camera and assured me that he would seek only one term. He did so because his age was, whether he liked it or not, a factor. So I took him at his word and I voted for him. It never once occurred to me that I was being played or patronised.

I will not vote for Mr Higgins. As far as I’m concerned, he has devalued our political discourse by pretending that “circumstances have changed”. He can be erudite. He can be decent. But he should reflect on the simple fact that his candidacy is, in essence, a broken promise. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.

Sir, – I am becoming increasingly irate with our presidential candidates and their misunderstanding of the role of the president. Apart from the fact that some are out of their depth, they posture and canvass as though they were contesting a Dáil or Seanad seat, and suggest changes to the role of the president as if it were in their gift and seemingly not understanding that the role is primarily ceremonial and that any change is at the discretion of the Oireachtas and in some cases the subject of a referendum.

Equally they cite experience and background that has no relevance in the world of international relations.

I would suggest that they either take the time to understand the role and temper their campaign accordingly or withdraw and allow one of the best presidents we have had to continue his good work on behalf of the nation. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.