Is there any strategy behind Sinn Fein’s loud defence of killings 25 years on?

Well, if you didn’t see Vincent Browne last night on TV3, try and catch it here. Padraig MacLochlainn is the latest of the party’s talented southern parliamentary team sent out to sell ‘the legitimacy of the armed struggle’.

I’ll let others be the judge of how well he does in selling the chosen narrative of ‘a risen north’ to a southern audience.

The only woman on the panel, Sarah McInerney of the Sunday Times barely gets a word in, but what she says (about 14 mins in) on Gerry’s ‘they deserved it’ comment may indicate why Sinn Fein struggles with low levels of trust amongst Irish women.

Over and above that, I’m still waiting for someone, somewhere to explain how any of these communications add to a strategy aimed at reuniting the island. They smack more of a piece of internal coalition management, than a serious attempt to talk to new voters.

So, as the Americans say, way to go on selling the north to the south boys. And way to go on selling the south to [any] Ulster prods. [FeckAnyone got Alex Salmond’s mobile phone number? What’s he doing after next year’s #IndyRef? – Ed]

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