The rise in the Martin McGuinness vote and the fall in Gay Mitchell's vote in the Irish presidential election speaks volumes.

Mitchell, the Fine Gael candidate has been the attack dog, backed by major elements of the Dublin media in going after McGuinness from Sinn Fein.

The level of vitriol has included possible impeachment if he is elected president to being arrested for his IRA past.

The upshot has been that Mitchell is now at 9 per cent in The Irish Times poll and McGuinness is in third place at 19 per cent.

In contrast, Mitchell's party Fine Gael enjoys about 44 per cent support while Sinn Fein is on about 13 per cent support.

The change in fortune makes clear that Sinn Fein bashing has run its course with the Irish electorate who know full well the role that Martin McGuinness played in bringing peace to Ireland.

As the main party in the Irish government Fine Gael is enjoying major popularity, especially their leader Enda Kenny who has been honest, plain spoken and direct on issues from the economic meltdown to the culpability of the Vatican in the child sex abuse cases.

Bu the party has clearly panicked over the presidential election and their deeply flawed candidate.

Beating up on Sinn Fein was always a good strategy in terms of turning out the law and order vote in the old days.

Clearly someone decided to pound that big brass drum again this time.

But the people are not listening.

The peace process has made all that rhetoric old and stale. Fine Gale's Mitchell and his media cohorts are like the Bourbons who 'learnt nothing and forgot nothing" in the word of Talleyrand.

Contrast Mitchell with front runner Michael D.Higgins of Labor who has steered well away from the Sinn Fein bashing and easily heads the polls.

Wise old owl that he is he understands when it comes to prejudice there's a time to hold them and a time to fold them.

Fine Gael party and media honchos have still not got that message.