TD O'Donovan concerned over Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein coalition
The "ordinary, decent Fianna Fail voters" are deeply alarmed at recent manoeuvres within the party towards a coalition deal with Sinn Fein, it has been claimed.
Patrick O'Donovan, the new junior minister at the Republic of Ireland's Department of Finance, has spoken of his concern at what he has described as a "rush" within political circles to "find Sinn Fein respectable".
The Limerick TD told today's Irish Independent that he and others within Fine Gael perceive Sinn Fein as a party which espouses "back of the fag box economics", and one which is associated with those who have "blown children to smithereens".
Mr O'Donovan said Fianna Fail voters are worried about recent remarks made by senior front bench figures.
"The people I have met during the summer, at agricultural shows and other events - the farmers and fishermen and ordinary decent Fianna Fail people - this is something has really concerned them. It has worried Fianna Fail people who don't want to have any truck with Sinn Fein," Mr O'Donovan said.
And he said that before Sinn Fein can be considered as a potential party in government, it must deal with issues of the past.
"I and so many other people in Limerick will always remember where we were the day Jerry McCabe was murdered," he said.
"But I also think about another garda, Seamus Quaid, whose brothers and sisters live here in Newcastlewest. This was a man lured to his death in a quarry in Wexford. His family have had to bear that cross.
"Have they or the McCabes ever had proper reconciliation? I don't think so," Mr O'Donovan said.
"They are just two victims. What about Brian Stack? What about the innocent children blown to smithereens indiscriminately in bombings? That was not done in my name or in the name of any right-minded person.
"So when I hear senior people of a political party talk about 'legitimate combatants'. In whose eyes? Who voted for that? I certainly didn't."