WHILE Gerry Adams’ popularity has sunk to an ‘all time low’, support for Sinn Fein remains practically unchanged, according to an Irish Independent poll.UTV reported:
The poll asked a cross-section of the Irish public a number of questions, among them:
“Do you believe or not that Sinn FÃ©in was reponsible for the breakdown of the northern peace process in December 2004 by refusing to allow photographs of weapons being decommussionsed?” to which 46% replied that they thought so, 39% replied they did not and 15% said they did not know or had no opinion.
When asked if it was “likely that Sinn FÃ©in would publically insist that the IRA decommission all its weapons and break totally with criminality” 49% of those asked said it was unlikely, with 33% saying it is likely and 18% not knowing.
On the most contentious questions arising from the “political turbulance” of the past number of weeks, 62% said they agreed with “the Irish government`s belief that Sinn FÃ©in and the IRA are one and the same organisation” and 46% said they areed with Justice Minister Michael McDowell`s statement that three senior members of Sinn FÃ©in are also members of the IRA army council.
The same number also said the minister should sanction the men`s arrests if he thought they were linked to the outlaw oraganisation.
62% of voters also said they believed that, until recently, the Irish government had been “too soft” on IRA criminality.
In an overwhelmingly expressed opinion, 74% of people said they thought the Irish government should name businesses suspected to be backed by IRA money.
While support for Sinn FÃ©in has not dropped appreciably, falling only one percentage point to 9%, Gerry Adams personal approval rating now ranks him as the least popular leader of any party sitting in the DÃ¡il, having plummeted from 52% in October of 2002 to just 31% for February of this year.