Gerry Adams: A leader whose basket of unwashed laundry is given to bursting open in public…

Okay, whilst we wait to hear whether the Sinn Fein leader is to be released, charged or held for another night and day of questioning, here’s three items worth highlighting on the political aspects of this:

Malachi O’Doherty

Where Adams can suffer is in the Irish Republic. He shifted his political base there and took a seat in the Dublin parliament, the Dáil. For years his party has relentlessly increased its support, yet its northern and southern expressions are growing apart. One irony, if he fell, might be that Sinn Féin would be partitioned, effectively evidence that partition is organic and inevitable in Ireland.

Pat Leahy on Prime Time (11 mins in)… is by far the most sober analysis of the southern situation… It won’t affect the lovers or the haters of the party, but it is those floating voters who want to hear what the party has to say about austerity to whom it may make a difference…

And finally Vixens With Convictions

Sinn Fein’s attempts to deflect by statements such as Mc Guinness’ “dark side of policing”, and Mc Donald’s “politically contrived” comments, could leave the party open to the accusation that they are attempting to use political interference in the due process of law and order. Southern voters are happy to vote for the party on the rise because they are perceived to have turned over a new leaf with regards to the past.

The reminder that some key figures in Sinn Féin not only have a past, but don’t appreciate attempts to raise it is unpalatable for many. At some point, Sinn Féin members will be put on the spot and asked if they support a thorough murder investigation into the death of a single mother of ten. It’s a conundrum they’d rather not answer.

In serious terms we’re sort of in another Flight MH370 scenario with lots of people basing their assumptions on a lot of known unknowns and a fair amount of unknown unknowns. It’s going to nard to gauge what impact, if any, this has on the political game in the south until we start to see some unwind.

An arrest is all it is right now… In the meantime the party’s research must be telling them loud and clear that they are on a threshold of a huge breakthrough in the Republic, their abiding problem being a northern leader whose basket of unwashed laundry is given periodically to bursting open in public…

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