Paul Colgan makes his contribution to the endgame speculation on what happens next. He paints a picture of two large political projects, each having to climb through the eye of two very different needles. The DUP, with the business of annihilating the UUP done and the IRA gradually coming to terms with the fact that its continued activity is damaging the political integrity of the whole Republican movement.
If the IRA is now finally removed from the scene, what do republicans do next if they want to turn the pressure up on the British? The only plausible answer would seem to be that republicans no longer regard the IRA as of benefit to their political project. Instead it has become an albatross around their neck. Bank heists and back-street stabbings do nothing to enhance the republican cause and instead give its opponents reason not to engage with Sinn Fein.
It might also suggest that Sinn Fein believes the North’s drawn out end game is now drawing to a close and that the DUP will have no option but to do a deal. Paisley is no longer pre-occupied with wiping out the Ulster Unionists and has little to fear, in the electoral sense, of going into government with Sinn Fein.