The prospect of Gerry Adams as a government minister in the irish Republic has suddenly been raised.
Gerry Adams has definitely announced he will run for the Irish parliament in the next Irish election, likely early in the New Year.
He will run for the seat vacated by his party colleague Arthur Morgan in County Louth, a border county. If he wins he will move to County Louth and live there.
He will give up his seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly
Making his announcement Adams stated: "In the past, I have asked people to step forward and to show leadership.
"I have asked people to make a stand. I believe that it is my duty at this critical time to step forward and do what I have asked of others."
"As leader of Sinn Fein, I want to be part of the necessary fight-back against bad economic policies in both parts of this island and for a fair, decent and united society for all the people of Ireland."
Adams stated he should have been able to do this as a representative of West Belfast but he cannot speak in the Irish parliament.
"So, as leader of the only all-Ireland party with an all-island mandate I have a choice to make whether to stay in West Belfast, a place that I love, or to seek a mandate in another constituency in the south," Adams said.
It is a surprise move.
Sinn Fein policy has long been to try and build a separate leadership team in the Irish Republic and keep the Northern political leadership in place in Northern Ireland.
However, the Irish Republic project has fared poorly.
After initial victories, the Sinn Fein vote has not increased greatly and they had a bad general election last time.
By Adams running the party will expect a major boost and ensure that they hold onto the Louth seat.
The resurgence of the Labor Party, which is expected to do very well in the next election, has been a cause of concern for Sinn Fein.
Labor and Sinn Fein naturally compete for the same working class vote and Labor gains in recent opinion polls have been spectacular. with some rating them as the largest party in ireland.
Sinn Fein meanwhile have not progressed much and remain in the single digits in support.
This is a change election in the Irish Republic like no other.
The anger over the government mishandling of the economy is so profound that Fianna Fail is likely to suffer deep casualties all over the country.
Sinn Fein clearly sees an opportunity to capitalize and to finally kick start their southern strategy.
There is a possibility that Sinn Fein could be in a position to be in a new coalition government when all the votes are counted after the election.
Gerry Adams, Irish government minister, might not be as farfetched as it might sound.