The race for the presidency


Sir, –As the presidential race heats up from tepid to lukewarm, I can’t help but be baffled as to how many of the hopefuls seem to be blissfully unaware of the role they are attempting to aspire to.

We have heard promises of an “Irish Youth Corp”, a shake-up of Irish Government from top to bottom, and red-haired maidens plucking harps in newly opened Famine villages.

None of these are possible under the current remit of our president, who is of course a largely ceremonial head of state.

Most primary school students are aware of this, yet the very people seeking nomination for election to the office can’t seem to grasp such a fundamental fact.

It raises a very simple question: are these people genuine candidates or are they simply using the presidential campaign to heighten their own public standing? Are we allowing the highest office of our land to be tainted and tarnished by a campaign that seems over before it has even begun? It seems the big-hitters have decided to shy away from battling the popular Michael D Higgins, happy to bide their time for another term, while the rest have stepped forth into a vacuum and can posture for the cameras and pander to their own self-importance.

Mr Higgins should not be returned to office unopposed, nor should the Áras become once again a shady pasture for retired politicians as it was in the past. However, we cannot seriously entertain candidates who do not even understand the job they, apparently, so desperately seek. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – Sometimes the business panel in Dragons’ Den share the investment, so might we have a three-headed president in the Park? Good for tourism! – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – The political landscape seems indeed to be changing and like those maps of old, we find written at the edges, “Here be dragons”! – Yours, etc,



Co Tipperary.

Sir, – There we are each night in our local pub in enjoyment of animated discussion of the topic of the day. Which of the menage of people seeking nomination as candidates in the presidential election will be nominated and who will finally get the gig in the Áras?

All very well, says the resident killjoy (there is always at least one), but when the votes come in on October 26th and we know the answer, what will we talk about then?

Well obviously our attention will turn to the question of who will be elected to the second most important office in the land, the Lord Mayor of Cork! – Yours, etc,




Sir, – The presidential race has taken on biblical proportions, with the prospect of Michael the Archangel slaying the three dragons. – Yours, etc,



Co Limerick.

Sir, – Have we not yet learned that a businessman is not necessarily an appropriate person to elect as a head of state? – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Unlike your other correspondents (August 30th), after seven years of a pompous and political president, I welcome the opportunity to elect an entrepreneurial president. It is a wonderful opportunity to change the tone of the office, and prevent Áras an Uachtaráin from becoming a retirement home for academics. – Yours, etc,



Co Wicklow.

Sir, – How many Dragons does it take to change a president? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.

Sir, – With three Dragons now confirmed as candidates and each having stated their case, I remain unimpressed regarding their suitability, relevant experience, understanding of the market and massively aspirational and uncosted plans. So for those reasons I’m not investing in them. I’m out. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – As per the works of JRR Tolkien, the diminutive hero will slay the Dragons. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.