Editorial: Bickering is holding the country back

THE leadership battle within Fianna Fail is more than a little unsettling for the ordinary citizen to watch in these times.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen has effectively thrown down the gauntlet to his challengers by refusing to go.

The issue will be decided one way or another in tomorrow's secret ballot at the parliamentary party meeting.

Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin, who has finally shown his hand, predicts Mr Cowen will lose.

But this issue needs to be sorted out as a matter of the utmost urgency because what this country and, more to the point, the economy needs is, as Mr Cowen is so fond of telling us, stability.

This internal party bickering and jockeying for position does nothing to resolve the grievous problems facing us, which seem rather worryingly on hold while the infighting continues.