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Pierce Brosnan's plays cold republican diehard and he looks just like Gerry Adams

By Claire McNeilly

Isn't it funny how you never saw the two of them together?

But now it can be revealed: Gerry Adams and Pierce Brosnan are the same person.

Or else they're twins, cruelly separated at birth. Okay, maybe they're just long-lost doppelgängers.

But who knew?

Certainly not the Sinn Fein president, who admitted yesterday via Twitter: "I never knew Pierce Brosnan was so good looking".

Nor did anyone else, until the Hollywood star rocked up in London looking, to use the Ulster vernacular, 'the spit' of veteran politican Adams.

Drogheda native Brosnan (62), caused an online sensation when he stepped out, looking for all the world like the real, bearded, bespectacled, overcoated, sharp-suited, leader of Irish republicanism.

The former James Bond star adopted the Adams look to shoot scenes for a new, as yet un-named, political thriller, based on Stephen Leather's breakthrough 1992 novel The Chinaman.

Brosnan stars as ex-republican diehard turned government official Liam Hennessy - so perhaps the similarities to Adams don't end with the looks.

But, bearing in mind the uncanny resemblance between the two men now that Brosnan is sporting an Adams-esque grey beard, the question has to be asked: would Gerry look like a clean-shaven Pierce should he ever ditch those trademark whiskers?

After all, no one has seen a non-hirsute Adams for over half a century but it's logical to assume, given that they're dead ringers for each other now, that the Louth TD has been hiding Hollywood-star looks under that facial hair.

You can judge for yourself using the pictures on this page which depict both men in pensive mood, smoking pipes, looking relaxed and happy in sports jackets and open shirts, and, of course, power-dressed for political business.

All joking aside, there's little doubt that Brosnan - who is five years younger than Adams - would make for ideal casting should a future movie about the Belfast -born SF leader go into production.

The suave, super-smooth Brosnan, whose vodka martinis were shaken but not stirred in four Bond films between 1995 and 2002, clearly looks a lot more like Adams than Timothy Spall does as the late Rev Ian Paisley in the forthcoming The Journey, which deals with the relationship between the founding DUP leader and Martin McGuinness.

And Colm Meaney, who plays McGuinness, is hardly a dead ringer for the current Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister.

Another SF veteran, TD Martin Ferris, tweeted "who cut Gerry's hair?" alongside a picture of the greying actor, and a hashtag '#GoldenAye' - an obvious play on the title of Brosnan's debut Bond movie - quickly emerged for those eager to post online comments about the newfound lookalikes.

This isn't the first time, incidentally, that Brosnan has played a man with strong republican links on the streets of London.

His performance as ruthless, un-named IRA operative in the 1980 gangster classic The Long Good Friday was what first brought him to the attention of Hollywood producers.

Brosnan also has form for playing a fictional politician who bears more than a passing resemblance to the real thing; few people who watched The Ghost (2010) were in any doubt that 'Adam Lang', the ex-Prime Minister played by the Irish actor, was a thinly-veiled Tony Blair.

Meanwhile, surely there's no truth in the rumour that Sinn Fein's leading man is now introducing himself thus: "The name's Adams ... Gerry Adams".

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