The race for the presidency

 

Sir, – Peter Casey is considering a withdrawal of his candidacy for the presidency, as he states that he does not wish his votes to be cast on the basis of one statement or issue. Whether by design or not, his statements about the Travelling community have given succour to those who would wish to continue the marginalisation of these vulnerable citizens.

These overtly prejudicial statements made by Mr Casey matter because the words we use matter. I hope that he decides to end his campaign, so that the often muttered words of derision made about Travelling people which we must challenge more in our discourse do not find expression at the ballot box. – Yours, etc,

HELEN BROWNE,

Rathfarnham,

Dublin 16.

Sir, – Might Peter Casey, once he sees a surge in support from 2 per cent to 3 per cent in the next opinion poll, be encouraged to establish a political party to propound his objectionable views on the national stage?

I, for one, would welcome another opportunity not to vote for him. – Yours, etc,

GERRY SAVAGE,

Corrandulla,

Co Galway.

Sir, – Dragons’ Den has a lot to answer for.

Come back Quicksilver, all is forgiven. – Yours, etc,

MARY BYRNE,

Bray, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – The next president will hold office during a key period in Irish history. We will commemorate both the War of Independence and the Civil War. Our relationship with the UK will also be significantly altered post Brexit. What the president says and how he or she says it, on our behalf, are quite important. It does make you wonder at the continuous focus on presidential expenses during the campaign. If the unaudited €317,000 per year is the people’s money, then my annual share, pro rata, is between six and seven cents. They have my permission to spend it as they consider necessary. I am happy to send 50 cents to the next president to cover the seven-year term if that helps. They can keep the change. – Yours, etc,

KEVIN O’SULLIVAN,

Phibsborough, Dublin 7.

Sir, – I would give my thoughts on the race to the Áras but they are positively blasphemous. – Yours, etc,

HUGH McDONNELL,

Termonfeckin, Co Louth.

Sir, – I don’t understand why the current presidential election campaign is being referred by The Irish Times as a “race”. – Yours, etc,

JAMES QUINN,

Rochester,

Michigan.

Sir, – The phrase “smoked salmon socialist” is used to describe someone who is very wealthy and yet espouses socialist convictions. I suggest that this phrase be changed so that such people are referred to as “Learjet Labour”. – Yours, etc,

SEAMUS LENNON,

Knocknacarra,

Galway.

Sir, – Large numbers of people inside and outside Ireland are now fully aware of Michael D Higgins’s relevant experience and achievements over the last 40 years. It is not surprising, therefore, that he is far ahead of the other candidates in all recent polls. His vision, knowledge of the Constitution and expertise gained as a university teacher, city councillor, lord mayor, senator, TD, minister and president, as well as his undoubted diplomatic and communication skills, make him more than deserving of a second term as president.

His popularity stems from hard work and dedication to key issues in public life over an extended period, together with his ability to empathise with and represent the concerns of communities all over Ireland, north and south. He has also earned the respect and admiration of the international community.

Whatever the qualities of the other candidates, it would be difficult to equal this. – Yours, etc,

PJ DRUDY,

Killiney, Co Dublin.