The SDLP and Fianna Fáil

 

Sir, – The current fanciful debate about proposals for a merger, or arrangement or co-operation between the SDLP and Fianna Fáil is notable for one thing – the complete absence of any SDLP voice to confirm or deny that anything is actually going on.

There was none in the initial story. None in follow-ups. None in the secondary commentary that continues. Instead the reports are filled with Fianna Fáil “sources”.

If the voices of SDLP members are to be heard, you will find them to be largely progressive, avowedly social democratic, and more inclined towards partnerships within Northern Ireland as envisaged by the Belfast Agreement rather than simplistic, superficial, and in all likelihood unsuccessful arrangements with a party or parties in the South.

If the current SDLP leadership wants to take the party in a different direction – or if it does not – then it should say so.

There is both a vacuum and huge uncertainty in the North caused by the absence of political institutions and Brexit.

The focus of all public representatives should be on addressing those real issues rather than destabilising the situation further in this manner. – Yours, etc,

RONAN FARREN,

Phibsboro,

Dublin 7.