Pres­i­dent has solid man­date

The Irish Times - - Comment & Letters -

A chara, – I can go along with the gen­eral trust of Breda O’Brien’s ar­ti­cle “Tar­get­ing Trav­ellers never harmed a politi­cian yet” (Opin­ion & Anal­y­sis, Novem­ber 3rd). I am also a prod­uct of the era and ru­ral set­ting she men­tions. I would con­cur with her view that the trav­el­ling and set­tled com­mu­ni­ties “co­ex­isted in wary but mostly mu­tu­ally tol­er­ant way”.

How­ever, she then goes on to have a swipe at Michael D Hig­gins’s can­di­dacy.

This seems quite strange in the con­text of the topic she was dis­cussing. Mr Hig­gins has, through­out his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, cham­pi­oned and ad­vo­cated for the marginalised, in­clud­ing Trav­ellers.

She claims, with­out cit­ing any ev­i­dence, that he “did the of­fice no favours by run­ning again”. Her jus­ti­fi­ca­tion seems to be based on his “du­bi­ous dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the only pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who has won two elec­tions on the strength of be­ing the least-bad can­di­date”.

Even that on its own could sug­gest ad­e­quate jus­ti­fi­ca­tion.

How­ever, a far more sub­stan­tial qual­i­fi­ca­tion is in­di­cated in the fact that in 2011 he left his near­est ri­val trail­ing by 11 per­cent­age points and in the re­cent elec­tion that rose to a mas­sive 32 per­cent­age points.

Con­trary to your colum­nist’s view, I be­lieve Michael D Hig­gins did the coun­try and its peo­ple, at home and abroad, a mon­u­men­tal ser­vice by run­ning and get­ting re-elected. – Is mise,

HU­BERT JEN­NINGS, Oran­more, Gal­way.

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