For members of Sinn Féin, last Sunday was a significant day. They were asked to endorse joining the policing boards in the 6 counties. That this was accomplished was no surprise, however, the margin of victory was. For those who were opposed to this decision or may have been disillusioned by it, there may be some difficult decisions to make. Is the SF strategy the way to go? is the main question they have to ask themselves. To be honest, I do not feel it is my place to make a prognosis on this. That is a decision for individuals to make themselves.
However, what is important to remember is that Irish republicanism is broader than Sinn Féin or any group. We all need to get back to basics. The Proclamation and the Democratic programme need to be at the centre of any republican socialist's mind, regardless of what organisation, if any, they attach to. Once people prioritise the ideology, it is a question of interpretation as to what is the best way forward. I hope in all this that those who have decided or will decide to leave SF will not be villified by those who still see SF as the correct route to the Republic. In turn, they should not be unduly hostile towards ex comrades who decide to stay.
None of us have all the answers. We live in a big bad world which has no place for certainty. Anyone who goes off in search of certainty, in any aspect of life , and republicanism is no different in this regard, will find themselves lost very quickly. All any of us can do is follow our hearts as well as our heads and keep our own integrity. As long as the Republic lives in our hearts, it can never die. This is not to say that we don't have a hard job to do, but it needs to be done from a position of principle, that does not allow for petty inter-organisational squabbles, because that will set back the pursuit of the Republic irretrievably.