More seriously however the Sunday Independent’s editorial launches a few searching questions in Sinn Fein’s direction.
The republican movement has a credibility deficit to overcome, one which it fails to recognise. The public have been asked to accept denials by the Sinn Fein leadership of any IRA role in the £26.5m robbery, and to take that assurance on trust.
However, given the current evidence of ongoing IRA criminality, as outlined by the Independent Monitoring Commission (IMC) in its reports, and given the IRA’s own unimpressive past track record for veracity, this is an unacceptable, and quite inadequate, response. In the past, the IRA has denied involvement in events in which, later, they have been forced to acknowledge their role, such as the murder of Det Garda Jerry McCabe, the importation of weapons from Florida, and the whole Colombia affair.
We may have heard this all before, but the credibility gap is a serious question for the party, no matter who poses it, or their motives. It goes on:
Truth is scarcely the hallmark of IRA statements. Except in this instance, curiously, the IRA have not chosen to issue any formal statement of denial through their official spokesman, P O’Neill.
So far the party has simple shooed away the question, but it something that will continue to hand in the air.
But perhaps most seriously it has demonstrated a striking lack of curiousity in providing journalists and others with its own authoritative version of events. The leader notes:
Sinn Fein has not conducted any investigation of its own. And, of course, Gerry Adams will not be advising people to help the PSNI with their inquiries into the bank raid.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty