Vincent Browne is no more certain of what’s gone on within the Republican movement over the last few months than anyone else in the media, but he manages link a chain of (what are for him) scary thoughts:
Having known Adams for many years, and having met him recently, I do not believe that he knew in advance of the Belfast bank robbery.
What is scary is that he may not know even now whether the IRA did it or not – and for a person who was so dominant within the movement for so long to be in such a position suggests that he is no longer the influence he was.
What is more scary is the prospect of the IRA going back to war, this time with a €38 million war chest (if they did indeed do the bank job).
If that happens, they will not fool around with the old brigade rifles and Semtex: there will be more devastating stuff, with more devastating consequences in terms of human life, destruction and political fallout.
A week ago, certainly two months ago, the idea of an IRA return to violence was unthinkable. It is no longer. And if that happens all bets on all sorts of things are off.
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