Criminal dynamic out of anyone's control?

Just aside a slight addendum to Ambrose’s earlier post on Robin Livingstone’s fascinating op ed in the Guardian.

I thought the last paragraph was the most incisive passage in the piece. Robin is right on the money with this:

The McCartney affair is potentially more dangerous for Sinn Féin. The best outcome would be a quick and convincing conviction. But if the killer stays free, even without the aid of the IRA, that fact will come to be the fault of republicans for what they did or didn’t do in the days after the killing [my italics]. The ghosts of the disappeared and the grim search for their bodies have haunted the IRA for years. How ironic it would be if the last of the disappeared remained alive, was one of their own, and did them most damage.

Despite some of the ‘previous’ reporting on the bank raid recently (we still await any evidence that Jim Cusick’s claim that £10 million has been recovered and connected to the IRA, is in any way accurate), I would not underestimate its capacity for damage, both direct and collateral for whoever carried out that raid. Apart from anything else, it adds to a growing sense that certain areas (Loyalist as well as Republican) in Northern Ireland are simply out of anyone’s control.