Varadkar, Trump and the wind farm

 

Sir, – He just couldn’t help himself. Leo Varadkar goes to Washington and out of all the stories he could have told, of course he picks the one he thinks makes himself look great. The immaturity and lack of substance exposed by his completely tone-deaf and tacky tale devalues our country and the office he holds. Can anyone imagine a business person in Ireland ringing the US secretary of the interior, and getting the call put through, to try to pull a stroke about a planning permission?

Why didn’t he just make up a story that would play to Donald Trump’s ego in the same way Enda Kenny used to make up stories about people he met?

No, instead the DNA in the typical Irish politician simply couldn’t resist the urge to brag that he’d received a call from Donald Trump.

To Mr Trump’s ear it shows that he can call anyone and they do his bidding, while to Mr Varadkar’s ear he thinks the story makes him look like the big man able to get things done. – Yours, etc,

DESMOND FITZGERALD,

Canary Wharf,

London.

Sir, – In his efforts to be the “best boy in the class”, the Taoiseach may have made his first and last visit to the White House. He will have no one to blame except himself. – Yours, etc,

DOROTHY BARRY,

Glasnevin, Dublin 9.

Sir, – While I am proud of our Taoiseach, it was a pity he had to use such language as “piss-take” in his White House talk. It doesn’t sound good coming from any statesman! I have to admit, having watched it all on television, it seemed very awkward for Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office. Age and experience come to mind. Both can be very valuable! – Yours, etc,

RAY THOMPSON,

Kilcoole, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – Any chance we could gift Donald Trump the Clontarf sea wall when he visits? – Yours, etc,

ULTAN Ó BROIN,

Blackrock,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – Donald Trump had better luck with Leo Varadkar than residents of Bray have had with his Cabinet colleague Simon Harris, who kindly but unsuccessfully supported our efforts to stop Wicklow County Council spending nearly €1 million buying a fine Edwardian house to knock it for 45 car-park spaces. Last week Fine Gael councillors ignored his appeal and joined with Fianna Fáil to approve an act of architectural and social vandalism. Maybe we should have gone to Donald Trump for help? – Yours, etc,

C KENNY,

Bray, Co Wicklow.

Sir, – It is really worrying that we are looking back nostalgically to being represented by Enda Kenny on the world stage! – Yours, etc,

IMELDA GALLAGHER,

Limerick.

Sir, – I don’t understand why people would object to a wind farm in a scenic part of Co Clare. Isn’t Clare already ruined with one-off bungalows dotting the landscape? – Yours, etc,

FINBAR KEARNS,

Piercestown,

Co Wexford.

Sir, – There’s little point in other politicians mounting a high horse and adopting a “holier than thou” approach to Leo Varadkar’s intervention in the Doonbeg wind farm application.

For many years politicians have made inappropriate contact with State officials on behalf of constituents or groups, whether relating to planning applications, housing lists, hospital services or social welfare issues. The purpose of a politician’s intervention can only be to ensure that their constituent will be positioned more favourably after the intervention. This puts pressure on State officials to accede inappropriately to a politician’s request and is unacceptable. It is surprising that we as a nation have tolerated this interference for so long.

Perhaps this is an opportunity for us all to decide that political interference in State services on behalf of any individual or group is unethical and inappropriate, and that the politicians involved will face disciplinary action in the future. – Yours, etc,

MARY MORRISSEY,

Castletownbere, Co Cork.

Sir, – It is mind-numbingly boring listening to Opposition politicians trying to whip up a storm about Leo Varadkar and the Clare wind farm. It’s a storm in a tea cup, and I would guess that the majority of the general public couldn’t care less. From what I heard, so far nothing of note actually happened. Great fun for politicians, but another total switch-off for everyone else. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN CULLEN,

Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.

A chara, – Where is the statesmanlike Leo who appeared at regular intervals during Storm Emma to offer emotionally intelligent and reassuring updates to the people of Ireland? The man who showed grit and composure and was measured in his responses and dealings with Theresa May when it came to Brexit? The man who appeared to stand up for human rights and seemed modern and progressive in his attitudes to all things that appear to be anathema to Donald Trump?

This man I listened to – for I could not watch – was simpering and pandering to President Trump in a way that truly astounded me!

The most important feature of all this is the standing invitation to Mr Trump to visit Ireland. There are the oft-repeated views that no matter what a person’s beliefs or values are, we still have an obligation to be kind and courteous and gracious to a president, particularly one who hails from the United States. I am sorry to say that I just cannot go along with this philosophy as Mr Trump espouses just about everything that is abhorrent to my nature as an Irish woman and I would imagine to lots of other people in this country. – Yours, etc,

EMER WARD,

Delvin,

Co Westmeath.