IRELAND . . . GOVERNMENT GOING, GOING, GONE

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The Irish government unraveled today over a controversial appointment that caused key members of the ruling coalition to announce their lack of support in Prime Minister Albert Reynolds. Deputy Prime Minister Dick Spring, who heads the Labour Party, announced his resignation and that of five cabinet officials today, adding: "Neither I nor any of my colleagues can vote confidence in this government." Without Spring's support, Reynolds' government stands to lose a vote of no-confidence set for Thursday. The government's collapse follows Reynolds' appointment of the High Court president -- Harry Whelehan, who as Attorney General came under fire for allegedly favoring a priest accused of child sexual abuse. If the government falls, national elections are likely within weeks -- unless a new coalition government emerges. Either way, Irish leaders were busy assuring the international press today that thepeace process in Ireland-- brought about to a large extent by Reynolds' efforts -- would continue. But, says TIME London reporter Helen Gibson, "it could slow it down because they will be busy dealing with internal politics."Post your opinion on theInternationalbulletin board.