Love politics and power: a recipe for potentially explosive relationships
Amii McKeever reflects on relationship complications as the approaching Valentine's Day could see the beginning of a new political union.

This week, we celebrate St Valentine’s Day. While some will celebrate this day with flowers, cards, chocolates and romantic dinners, others dismiss it as just a commercialised fad. Many years ago, my friend’s boyfriend (now husband with four children and very happy) said to her when she expressed dismay at not receiving a bunch of flowers on 14 February, “flowers die, is that how you want to symbolise our relationship?” Having never taken him for the philosophical sort, I was sort of impressed with his sidestep.

As I write this article, the ultimate sidestep might just be about to occur on our political landscape.

On Saturday night, I waited for the exit poll from our 2020 general election. And it told me one thing, change is afoot. With three parties now getting a similar amount of support from the electorate, Government formation is going to be difficult. Either someone would have to backtrack from their stated position or a yet unthought of coalition would need to be formed.

There was little love shown between the three main leaders in the debates

I am not sure you could call it a love triangle but Mary Lou McDonald is adamant that the two-party system is a thing of the past.

There was little love shown between the three main leaders in the debates but a relationship of some sort must be formed. Listening to the Sinn Féin leader on the radio, her preference is to leave her two major bedfellows out in the cold and form a Government that includes neither. But let’s be honest; any union formed could be highly explosive.

Let’s hope, for the good of the country, that a less dramatic resolution can be found for whatever coupling emerges

As any new Government will most likely involve complex relationships I am reminded of one of the world’s greatest love stories, Romeo and Juliet and the quote “These violent delights have violent ends. And in their triumph die, like fire and powder.”

Let’s hope, for the good of the country, that a less dramatic resolution can be found for whatever coupling emerges.

Whatever you may think of Valentine’s Day, complications in relationships are real. We receive letters from people across the country who find themselves vulnerable in their relationships. In advance of an upcoming event examining gender balance, I spoke with Dr Monica Gorman. Her insights into power dynamics in relationships was fascinating.

The new direction for Getting in Touch is that we are now offering a membership-type service

Getting in Touch, our Irish Country Living personal pages, have had a revamp just in time for Valentine’s Day. These pages are popular and those who use the service were looking for more. The new direction for Getting in Touch is that we are now offering a membership-type service. Please give one of our team a call if you are unsure about anything. We appreciate this change may not suit everyone but we are confident that exciting times are ahead given the new competitions and events which our Getting in Touch team have planned.

This week, we launch our 2020 Women & Agriculture Awards supported by FBD Insurance. If you think that this is you, or if you immediately thought of a certain women, please enter. Our 2018 winner, Maria Flynn, graces the cover this week and she credits the competition as being the start of her success. It could also be yours.

We wish to extend our sympathies to the family of Keelin Shanley. We had the pleasure of interviewing Keelin on several occasions – now free to read on our website.

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Ach ní dhéanfar dearmad ar an lá, A bhuail Oisín le Niamh

If debate doesn't happen on our food, we end up in an echo chamber