Under fire from all sides: Gerry Adams distrusted by dissidents and democrats
If this all seems depressingly familiar, it will be because it has happened several times before in a clearly established format.
There is a pattern to the travails of one Gerard Adams. First come the accusations; these are met by denials; then variously the other Sinn Féin heavy-hitters come out by degrees to stand by their man and denounce his detractors.
The counter-attacks then follow with the accusers coming under fire, variously dubbed securocrats with an agenda. Finally, there are no-holds barred attacks on the media messengers who are branded as lackeys of the system.