initially featured in the Irish Daily Star on 28 October 2013.Dr John Coulter with a piece contemplating the political future of Gerry Adams. It
Call it a day, Baron Gerry and hand the Shinner reins to the dream team of Northern schools boss King John and the Donegal Dynamo, Prince Pearse.
In spite of years of service both to the republican movement and Sinn Féin, party president and Louth TD Gerry Adams has become the Shinners' 'Peter Robinson'.
Whatever the truth, rumours, allegations or tittle-tattle gossip concerning Baron Gerry's knowledge of his convicted sex offender brother, Liam, the entire saga has damaged Adams irreparably.
While deputy First Minister Marty McGuinness has kept the Shinner ship steady at Stormont, haunting questions are now being posed as to whether Adams is the right person to lead Southern Sinn Féin into the next Dáil poll.
And given Robbo's apparent U-turn on the Maze peace centre, serious queries are now being posed within the DUP as to whether Robbo should be the man to take the party into the crunch Euro and super council elections next year.
Sinn Féin and the DUP are two political birds of a kind – the party comes before personalities.
In the North, deputy Marty could still lead the Shinners into the next Assembly poll in 2016, but he has become part of the republican movement's 'old men in dark suits' brigade.
The reality is that with the DUP in internal disarray, only schools boss John O'Dowd from Upper Bann could land the top prize of being the largest party at Stormont, and claiming the coveted First Minister's crown.
But the Shinners' real target should be to build its Dáil representation so that Blueshirt boss King Kenny has no other option but to form a coalition with Sinn Féin as Edna's minority government partner.
'Never, never, never', I hear you yell, using the old Paisleyite battle cry. But the Dr No of Unionist politics eventually became the First Minister Yes of Stormont and entered a power-sharing Executive with Sinn Féin.
If the 'impossible' can happen at Stormont, it can take place in the Dáil – depending on the right man leading the Shinners.
Setting aside Gerry Adams' family dilemmas, there's no way King Kenny will suck up to the Shinners while the former West Belfast MP is in charge.
Sinn Féin holds all the cards. Kenny's current Coalition colleagues Labour and the former minority Dáil partners the Greens are done. With the correct leader, Sinn Féin will end up in power in both parts of the island come the next respective general elections.
The young, Scottish-born Donegal South-West TD Pearse Doherty is the only republican who can lead republicans into power in Leinster House and lay claim to the Tanaiste crown.
The Shinners must face the bitter medicine that if they are to become a genuine all-island controlling movement, they must dump the IRA. No more ex-jailbirds in key positions.
A Doherty/O'Dowd ticket is squeaky clean so far as any involvement with the Provos is concerned. That rules Northern MEP Martina Anderson, a convicted terrorist, out of the leadership equation.
As for Dublin TD and Shinner vice president Mary Lou McDonald, although she has no Provo connections, she – as a former Southern MEP herself – would be better concentrating on expanding the party's European representation and building a pan-nationalist front across the EU.
Both Doherty and O'Dowd are Shinners which unionists could work with. Unlike Gerry Kelly and the ex-IRA brigade they don't go out of their way to antagonise unionists and loyalists.
The Shinners need to take a reality pill. It's time for a coup; retire Adams and McGuinness and unleash the republican dream team of Doherty and O'Dowd.