A rush to taoiseach would be huge mistake for Sinn Féin at this time
Congratulations to Sinn Féin on their astounding election result in the Republic – they are now part of the establishment. Successful revolutionary parties become the establishment, for example the Bolsheviks in Russia or Chairman Mao with his little red book. Unsuccessful revolutionary parties are absorbed into the establishment and become part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
Sinn Féin is about to learn a very harsh political reality. It is easy to shout from the side-lines but now that they are a serious player they will be expected to deliver.
While you are a vocal minority it is easy to promise the moon and the stars but have SF delivered anything that was not wanted by other parties?
Secular Ireland was begging for abortion and homosexual marriage so there was no real victory in winning these when every party in the state was behind them. During the election campaign they have made huge promises on homelessness, housing, poverty and tax. Now they will be expected to deliver.
Very quickly SF will see the difference between being a party of protest and a party which can be held to account. Ambitious politicians like to get their face on TV but with so many TDs the questions will soon change from what can you deliver to, “what have you delivered?” While SF was able to point to Northern Ireland and shout about discrimination, life was easy. Now that they have power we can ask “what have you really done for the people?” Hopefully they will do a better job in the Republic.
Mary Lou may feel entitled to a seat on the cabinet but a sense of entitlement doesn’t automatically transfer to reality. SF has no experience of running a country and for their own sake they would need to take a Dáil or two to bed into the corridors of power.
Politics at national level is a trade and SF will need to spend years learning it before they take real power. A rush to taoiseach would be huge mistake at this time.
Portglenone, Co Antrim
Sammy Wilson would go to any length to keep us ‘attached to the hip’ to Britain
I was simply incredulous when I heard Sammy Wilson MP say in The House of Commons (February 12) that he hoped Prime Minister Boris Johnson would go ahead with a bridge across the Irish Sea from Scotland to Northern Ireland.
To borrow the prime minister’s analogy of the newly-approved HS2, high-speed railway line being ‘the spine’ of England, Sammy must desperately want Northern Ireland to be ‘attached at the hip’ to Britain. Nobody could then deny that Northern Ireland was, once
and for all, a part of the United Kingdom.
Sammy, surprisingly, made this statement after Jeremy Corbyn had mockingly scoffed at this fantasmogorical idea, when the latter had suggested that the bridge could be even better if it was ‘a garden bridge with an airport half-way across’.
Everyone knows that onward connections from Stranraer and Cairnryan to say Birmingham, for example, are lamentable if not non-existent. This has resulted over the years in people just opting to fly instead.
Doesn’t Mr Wilson know that air travel is not very climate-friendly?
He, and other local politicians, should be speaking up for the full re-instatement of overnight ‘sleeper’ trains from Stranraer to London, getting you into central London at 7.30am and 30-minute train rides from Stranraer into central Glasgow.
The latest thinking in other European countries is to revitalise overnight trans-European express train ‘sleeper’ services in an effort to reduce carbon emissions due to the current demand for air travel.
They, being enlightened in this regard, are wakening up to smell the coffee – delivered by the night sleeper carriage attendant knocking on the compartment door and announcing: “Twenty minutes to London, Euston, sir.”
Waterfoot, Co Antrim
One suicide is one too many
THE Irish News coverage of suicide was excellent and heartbreaking. The example of Finland – ‘From spiralling suicide rates to world’s happiest country’ (February 17) – is especially instructive, with its research-based, all-of-government approach to the problem. Positive change is possible and has occurred in many countries around the world, as the global rate of suicide fell by a third between 1990 and 2016. But there remain substantial variations between countries and much more needs to be done. Even one suicide is one too many. This matters to everyone. One person in every four will develop a mental illness at some point in life. There is no “them”, there is only “us”.
Professor of Psychiatry, Trinity College, Dublin
Responsibility for shortfall lies with government
IN RESPONSE to Cahair O’Kane’s article – ‘McAvoy: Responsibility for Casement shortfall lies with government’ (February 13) – yes, I agree that it was a government proposal of a shared stadium for all sports. I recall from my late brother Danny Murphy, the then Ulster Secretary of Ulster GAA, that difficulties did arise and during the negotiations senior civil servant Mr Edgar Jardine was very supportive that the GAA receive pro-rata funding alongside rugby and soccer. These to the best of my knowledge are the facts around the Casement Park funding.
Thankfully people are more aware of equality for everyone nowdays as this encourages a better life for all people.
Newry, Co Down
Expression of thanks
On behalf of Eimear’s Wish we want to express our gratitude to the companies and people for making Eimear’s Donut for Donors Day a enormous success.
A very special thank you to TABOO Donuts for producing and donating Eimear’s Wish Donuts
With their help we have raised stem cell, organ and blood donation awareness and £5,982.00. Which will be divided equally between our charities for this event.