Irish Daily Mail

FF needs new leader if the party wants to stay relevant

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IF FIANNA Fáil wants to remain relevant in Irish politics, then it needs to get a new leader.

With the present leader, Micheál Martin, it has abandoned, like Fine Gael, the right-of-centre electorate for a left-of-centre position, so there is no Irish party at the moment representi­ng the centrerigh­t voter. This is fertile ground which should be represente­d by Fianna Fáil. All the other parties are either left-of-centre or far left like Sinn Féin. Micheál Martin cannot lead or make difficult decisions when they are needed, and he has shied away from showing any form of leadership in his term of office. If Fianna Fáil does not act now, it will become irrelevant as a party in Irish politics.

Everybody has their moment in the sun. Micheál, yours is over, now it’s time to go peacefully. Ireland urgently needs a leader to move the country forward.

PAUL PRICE, Clondalkin, Dublin.

... FIANNA Fáil was founded by Éamon de Valera. Its economic platform had huge appeal among the farmers, the working class and the poor.

Along the journey, Fianna Fáil politician­s forgot about their roots. It happened gradually, so they are where they are now, and cannot be where they want to be. PAT O CALLAGHAN,

Mallow, Co. Cork.

Update IT systems

IT IS not surprising the IT system of the HSE was hacked, given that it’s so outdated. It is not patientfri­endly and seems to need a juggernaut of admin staff as backup.

The Danes have a universal health system that is free to all citizens at access point. The Danish yellow card, equivalent to our medical card, allows patients and medical practition­ers to access their health records online. With this system, patients can book appointmen­ts, renew prescripti­ons and access health advice.

Since the 1990s, the move toward technology by our public services has been resisted due to the fear that it would replace jobs.

This is a well-founded fear, but short-sighted.

The monies saved could be used to fund more frontline staff. Ireland is well-placed to embrace secure IT systems like Denmark’s given we are hosts to some of the largest IT and medical device companies in the world.

Technology has moved on and this country’s public sector must move on too.

Revenue.ie leads the way and the rest must follow, or we will end up with half-baked IT systems which are easily hacked and very costly, with admin staff still moving paper around, putting the public at a further distance from real-time access to services.

NUALA NOLAN, Galway.

Who’s in charge?

IT WAS fascinatin­g to hear that a report has called for clarity on the relationsh­ip between the Government and NPHET and how key pandemic decisions were made.

The study by legal experts at Trinity College has criticised the lack of transparen­cy on how decisions were reached and whether certain public health measures were legally enforceabl­e.

The report went to say that the public health team ostensibly became the ‘de facto decision maker’ rather than simply an adviser to the Government.

It seemed to me that there was a period in which public confidence in the Government and NPHET had been eroded by the manner in which both were behaving.

It could be argued that there was a stage when it appeared as if the Government had lost its nerve and that NPHET had taken control of the country’s social and economic policy. It was perceived by a great number of citizens that the only policy on offer was an endless series of lockdowns.

I will be very interested to hear how our Government responds to this report.

JOHN O’BRIEN, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

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