Una Mullally and James Geoghegan


Sir, – The very aim of democracy is to have fair representation of as many different people as possible. Yet, Una Mullally (“Fine Gael’s byelection candidate? You couldn’t make him up”, Opinion, July 5th) seems to think that certain candidates are not welcome to be part of the democratic process.

James Geoghegan has been elected, by the people, to Dublin City Council for Fine Gael, and he has been selected as a candidate in a democratic Fine Gael convention by the people.

Both of these achievements show hard graft, commitment and experience. He is as entitled as anyone to stand in this byelection and is a very impressive and legitimate candidate. Ireland welcomes candidates with hugely varying skills and experiences.

Real-life experience can be more valuable than the skills of a career politician. Perhaps Ms Mullally might take her own “mirror” analogy to herself and ask if she has reported fairly on Mr Geoghegan, or indulged her personal bias above good journalism. – Yours, etc,



Co Kilkenny.

Sir, – In response to Una Mullally (Opinion, July 5th), we shouldn’t be making generalisations on people based on their background, be they politicians or just supporters of a political party.

We shouldn’t be demonising people reaching a form of success. Politicians should be defined by their beliefs, policies and their own actions.

We shouldn’t be reducing people’s accomplishments to privilege.

As Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said herself in an interview in your Summer Nights Festival last week (Weekend, July 5th) you don’t “come from privilege”, you “come from opportunity”.

– Yours, etc,


Dublin 1.

Sir, – Una Mullally devotes her entire weekly column to a personalised and emotive denigration of the merits of just one candidate in the forthcoming Dublin Bay South byelection, James Geoghegan.

She compares his merits, with the supposed merits of other candidates, the most prominent of whom are already in the Oireachtas anyway. She fails to mention his work as an elected member of Dublin City Council, where he serves on key committees. Perhaps this sort of work is below Ms Mullally’s elevated field of vision.

She does, however, mention that he worked as an intern in the EU delegation in Washington, while I was ambassador there. His work included writing reports on meetings he attended in Washington DC on behalf of the EU. They were of a standard of insight, thoughtfulness, and readability to match those authored by some of the excellent diplomatic and professional staff of our delegation.

I believe, on that direct experience, his election to the Dáil would enhance the Oireachtas as a whole. – Yours, etc,



Co Meath.