‘Set precondition to any new talks’

Both UTV and RTE report the headline – 72 per cent of people, the Sunday Business Post reports – based on its poll, said the Irish government should insist on a “distinct signal from the IRA, such as an act of decommissioning, as a precondition to any new talks with Sinn Féin”, 14 per cent disagreed with this. Details of the methodology used by Red C is also given by the Sunday Business Post.Pat Leahy, of the Sunday Business Post, also notes that

About 72 per cent of the population say they are concerned about “reports of IRA involvement in money laundering and other activities in the Republic of Ireland’‘, against 15 per cent of people who report themselves unconcerned.

And on the ‘media conspiracy’ theory –

Asked if Sinn Féin had been “unfairly treated by the media and politicians in recent weeks”, 50 per cent disagreed, compared to 36 per cent who agreed.

The Sunday Business Post also covers the rest of the poll results, relating to voting intentions – FF recovers as opposition gains come up short

The poll shows that if a general election were held now, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern would be in an unassailable position to win a third successive victory and lead the next government.

But the victory would be less glorious than previous results.

But a separate SBP article reports that the poll also shows that – “Rainbow the most preferred government” (Fine Gael, Labour and the Green Party).

Some 55 per cent of voters say they find such a coalition acceptable, against 35 per cent who find it unacceptable. This represents a decline of 6 per cent in the numbers who found it acceptable a year ago.

However, the putative rainbow coalition is only marginally ahead of the combination of Fianna Fáil and the Progressive Democrats, who are considered favourable by 51 per cent, also down by 4 per cent from last March.

As you’d expect from the other figures, a Fianna Fáil/Sinn Féin coalition finds few fans –

By far the least favourite option for government among voters is a coalition of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin. Only 20 per cent of voters say such a government would be acceptable – down 5 per cent from last year – against 69 per cent who say it would be unacceptable.