For the second Monday running, the Irish Times has quoted garda sources casting doubt on some of the allegations frequently levelled at republicans. Last week the head of the Garda National Drugs Unit said there was no evidence of IRA involvement in the drugs trade. And today, "senior garda sources" acknowledge that there is no proof that Sinn Féin are funded by IRA money - Michael McDowell and Pat Rabbitte's frequent bleating notwithstanding.

Republicans, of course, have been saying both these things for years. We have challenged anybody with evidence to bring it forward. Nobody has, and now even the Garda Síochána are acknowledging that nobody can. I doubt that it will stop certain of our opponents from repeating this nonsense, but at least now we have the testimony of their own allies to refute it.

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