Ten reasons why Sinn Fein can't be trusted to govern
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Despite all the recent uproar over Sinn Fein's role in covering up sex abuse, a weekend opinion poll has shockingly revealed that Gerry Adams's party is now the most popular in Ireland.
Love them or loathe them, the Shinners are clearly on course to achieve one of their greatest ambitions - government in both Dublin and Belfast on the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.
So why should this prospect strike fear into the hearts of all true Irish patriots? Here are just ten reasons.
1 - Sinn Fein has a liar for a leader. Gerry Adams' (below) claim that he was never even in the IRA is so laughably untrue that it suggests he cannot be trusted to tell the truth about anything.
Even worse, he has turned his colleagues into liars as well - because they all refuse to admit even the slightest knowledge of their boss's blood-soaked past.
2. Sinn Fein are cynical opportunists. They recently denied that water charges would be a red line issue for their participation in government, then suddenly u-turned in a futile bid to avoid losing the Dublin South West by-election.
Now Mary Lou McDonald has changed her mind by declaring that she will not pay the new tax - more evidence that the party is prepared to say anything that might win votes.
3. Sinn Fein are complete hypocrites. They have led bitter campaigns against both property taxes and water charges down south, but happily preside over both in Northern Ireland.
While the party constantly accuses its opponents of being "partitionist", their own policies seem to magically transform whenever they cross the border.
4. Sinn Fein are creepy. There is something deeply weird about the way that its TDs use the same formula of words whenever a crisis erupts, almost as if they have been brainwashed to within an inch of their lives.
Of course all parties try to exert discipline, but the Shinners' total lack of internal dissent makes them look like a cult.
5. Sinn Fein's attitude to sex abuse is truly shameful. Mairia Cahill's allegations are disturbing enough, but even more sinister is the emerging evidence about how the IRA set itself up as judge, jury and executioner. It appears that while some 'civilian' rapists in Republican areas were shot, Provo paedophiles were more likely to be spirited into the Republic - a crime that matches any committed by the Catholic Church.
6. Sinn Fein's economic policies are transparently bonkers. Finance spokesman Pearse Doherty pretends he can solve all our financial problems by imposing higher taxes on millionaires and corporations, a populist stance that does not stand up to any serious scrutiny.
In reality, this would lead to a flight of capital and even higher unemployment - particularly in the working-class communities that Sinn Fein claims to represent.
7. Sinn Fein has never apologised for the IRA. On the contrary, it still believes that the Provos were morally justified in committing 1,800 murders during the Troubles while piously condemning every killing carried out by Loyalist or British forces. Unbelievably, Sinn Fein's online shop continues to sell t-shirts with the slogan 'IRA - Undefeated Army' - which in itself tells you all you need to know about the party's twisted worldview.
8. Sinn Fein are 'Little Irelanders'. They opposed Ireland's membership of the EU and have campaigned for a no vote in every single treaty referendum. Essentially they are the Irish version of UKIP, memorably described by David Cameron as "a bunch of fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists".
9. Sinn Fein peddle a narrow brand of nationalism that is totally out of date in the 21st century. They proved themselves to be out of touch with public opinion by opposing Queen Elizabeth's visit in 2011, while Martin McGuinness lashed his critics as "West Brits" during that year's presidential election.
Now they are demanding a referendum on Irish unity, something which is not exactly top of most people's priority lists these days.
10. All of the above reasons can be rolled into one - Sinn Fein are anything but a normal political party. They lie routinely, will sacrifice anyone for their cause and have an ex-terrorist leader who likes tweeting about his teddy bear. In short, Sinn Fein cannot be trusted to govern this country - and between now and 2016 they urgently need to be exposed.