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Fianna Fail is now utterly dysfunctional

HOW the once mighty have fallen. Who would have believed 12 months ago that Fianna Fail -- the party of power for much of the State's history -- could sink to shabby and chaotic in-house bickering?

Party leader Micheal Martin's proposal not to run a presidential candidate has not been backed, and his own deputy Eamon O Cuiv has threatened to quit.

Some may delight to read of the party's continuing demise.

But the fact remains that a strong Government requires a strong Opposition.

Fianna Fail see themselves as the main party on the opposing benches, but yesterday's debacle calls this into serious question.

Micheal Martin's party are a dysfunctional body, incapable of speaking with one voice, let alone calling the Government to account.

With a Budget approaching, we need a firm Oppostion now more than ever.

Unless Fianna Fail get their house in order, they will not be able to provide it.