In the early stages of this crisis we gave air to Ed Moloney’s theory that Gerry Adams had engineered it in order to make the position of internal advocates for holding on the IRA untenable. Scott McMillan on Slate magazine thinks it might have held true if hadn’t been for the grim happening in Magennis’s Bar:
The biggest problem with Moloney’s theory is that it presumes Adams will remain in control of events. It’s one thing to manipulate your allies into doing your bidding when they are members of a famously disciplined organization like the IRA. But democracies are different. They’re messy and unpredictable. Adams could hardly have predicted McCartney’s grisly murder outside Magennis’s Bar, and he could not have foreseen the popular anger over the IRA’s cover-up. As anti-Sinn Fein momentum builds, it’s looking more and more like things are spinning out of control for the master tactician. If Adams brought the peace process to this tenuous point thinking it would inevitably lead to IRA disarmament, one can only hope that at least that part of his master plan remains on track.