“the Provos never claimed legitimacy on the basis of popular support but by reference to the mandate of history”

In The Observer, Eamonn McCann warns of further disaffection with the political process as “job losses, cutbacks and welfare ‘reform'” are imposed.  And he identifies the problem highlighted previously here.  From The Observer article

Their allegiance was to the republic declared at Easter 1916. The dissidents have not budged from this position, whereas the Provos, they argue, abandoned the republic when they exchanged their Armalites for Armani and took executive positions at Stormont.

In the new era of shared power and Sinn Féin leaders striding the world stage with aplomb, the dissidents’ perspective may seem parochial begrudgery or fanciful nonsense, or both. But in strict ideological terms – objectively, we might say – it’s hard to deny they have a point. This doesn’t mean they are right. It does mean that if they are wrong, then so were the Provos during the years of the armed struggle, which speakers at Sinn Fein commemorations continue to extol as the noblest enterprise under the sun. It is this consideration that can make Gerry Adams’s regular, ringing denunciations of the Reals seem shifty.

Adds  And here’s a related BBC report – “The motivations of Lurgan’s dissident republican youth”