Adams has to travel in two different directions
The IRA army council is struggling to deal with two jurisdictions either side of the Border, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
Skilled for years in riding two horses simultaneously, these days Gerry Adams is beginning to look more like someone riding two escalators going in opposite directions.
It was a sign of panic when last week he anointed Mary Lou McDonald as his successor and said there was no reason why someone who hadn't lived in Northern Ireland during the Troubles couldn't take over from him. "The people who will take that decision, as it does every year, will be the Ard Fheis," Adams said.
He's a great kidder, is Adams. The people who will take that decision, as it does every year, is the invisible IRA army council which, whether he sits on it or not these days, is as much under his and Martin McGuinness's control as it has been for more than three decades.