I see Fianna Fáil Minister John O'Donoghue is talking rubbish with his claims that Ireland would become a "banana republic" with Sinn Féin in government as in his opinion Sinn Féin still retain a private army. Of course, this is nonsense. Firstly, the IRA were never controlled by Sinn Féin. In any case, the IRA have visibly put all their weapons beyond use. Mr. O'Donoghue is not only bringing General De Chastailean's integrity into question by his comments but he is also contradicting the opinion of his own taoiseach.
Mr. O'Donoghue claims that the IRA have not disbanded. Of course he is right but he entirely misses the point. Disbandment was never on the agenda, the IRA was expected to disarm and cease any illegal activity, I am convinced that they have done this. Mr O'Donoghue needs to get his facts straight, however it is encouraging that even the paper printing his rubbish can see straight through the minister;
The Government will reach the end of its five-year term in 2007 if nothing happens in the interim to precipitate its capitulation.
It will not escape a questioning electorate that Mr O'Donoghue's opinion about Sinn Féin and private armies may be related to that occasion, given the standing of that party in the polls.