The Minister for Health has described as absurd any suggestion that the Tánaiste should have resigned after her comments led to the indefinite postponement of Charles Haughey's criminal trial. Mícheal Martin remarks follow reports today that Mary Harney had offered to resign as Tánaiste and leader of the Progressive Democrats last Tuesday. Speaking on RTÉ's This Week programme, Mr Martin said that the Tánaiste had made an outstanding contribution to political life.

The Labour party deputy leader, however, said that the Tánaiste would have demanded the immediate resignation of any Minister in similar circumstances. Brendan Howlin also said that his party would have difficulties entering government with Fianna Fáil, in light of the recent revelations at the Moriarty and Flood Tribunals.