The Gerry Adams decision to run in Louth in the next election is an acknowledgement of reality for the party.

When it comes to recognizing cold hard realities there are few better than Adams at that.

The entire peace process came from his and Martin McGuinness's realization that the guerilla war against the British was unwinnable and a new approach was needed.

It would have been much easier to have kept up the unwinnable war but Adams and McGuinness choose the tougher road and were rewarded.

In this case he has realized that Sinn Fein the party, while flourishing in the North, is not having anything like the same impact in the south.

Right after the initial success of the peace process the party did begin to make inroads in the south but in recent elections that progress has stopped.

Leading figures like Mary Lou McDonald in Dublin and Caoimghin o Caolain in Monaghan have never achieved the type of influence that party leaders in Northern Ireland have done.

With a massive election, likely to change the political face of Ireland coming up, Adams clearly felt he had to get involved.

The government's disastrous economic policy will likely result in a wholly changed political landscape and Adams clearly feels Sinn Fein must maximize that moment.

When incumbent Sinn Fein member of parliament for Louth, Arthur Morgan, announced he was quitting it provided the perfect opportunity.

Adams will likely easily hold the seat and will be a force to reckon with in Irish politics after the election. There is a definite chance that Sinn Fein could be part of a new coalition government.

He is bound to face stiff opposition,especially on issues such as "the disappeared," IRA victims whose bodies have never been found, and the role of his brother Liam,a former Louth resident, who is wanted in Northern Ireland on child abuse charge.

But the main obstacle may be how much Adams himself, has left in the tank. At 62 he has spent a lifetime in creating nationalist equality in Northern Ireland and has succeeded beyond all expectations.

Close associates often worry that he has taken on so many commitments that he is utterly overworked.

Now pushing Sinn Fein forward in the Irish Republic, especially in an election period where the Labor Party is proving extremely popular in opinion polls and may well hoover up much of the left wing vote that Sinn Fein is seeking will be a difficult task.

Then no-one ever made money betting on Gerry Adams coming up short when he sets out to achieve something..

His entry into Irish politics has certainly made the next election very interesting.