For a party who believe they are hounded by media for every slight transgression, Sinn Féin rarely help themselves.
Since Tuesday, the party have been on not-so-much-apology-but-justification-tour after pictures emerged of the party leadership attending the funeral of longtime Sinn Féin advisor and former IRA leader Bobby Storey.
Over 1,800 people turned out to pay their respects, applauding Storey's family as they passed, lining the streets of West Belfast, social distancing was basically impossible, few wore masks.
Many were, rightly, outraged at the presence of Michelle O'Neill who had helped write the rules in the north for social distancing during the pandemic, standing among the crowds, at one point, involved in a mind-blowingly badly judged selfie.
The furore handed political rivals more than enough talking points to further their argument that Sinn Féin are "not a normal party" and "not fit for government".
This is a shallow assessment, and where the fundamental misunderstanding of Sinn Féin starts.
While you couldn't be blamed for seeing Tuesday's pictures and assuming that Mary Lou McDonald doesn't think the rules apply to her, it ignores a wider political game that Sinn Féin leadership have to play.
Unlike the other two medium-sized parties in Leinster House, Sinn Féin have to balance their past and present in order to ensure success both sides of the border, and so far, they're falling at really easy hurdles.
Not attending Storey's funeral was simply out of the question for McDonald and O'Neill, such a sign of supposed disrespect would not fly in west Belfast and across the north for the many old-school republicans who see their support for Sinn Féin dependent on whether their stick to their roots, while striving for a better future.
And while a better solution might have been to go directly to the church, which abided by guidelines while inside, that wouldn't have worked either, because the leadership had to be seen there. Whatever their feelings for Bobby Storey, which I am certain are genuine, being seen there sends a message.
However, that message is received in Dublin, Galway, and Roscommon very differently.
Over a thousand people across Ireland have laid to rest their loved ones in almost complete isolation. Grandchildren watched services through webcams and Zoom. Husbands dedicated to their wives for decades avoided cemeteries, while lonely coffins were lowered into the ground surrounded by strangers.
Bobby Storey was a giant to his community, but there were giants across Ireland who lie in graves unvisited because others played by the rules.
Sinn Féin have been walking a tightrope for years, one step forward and two steps back: One good Repeal vote, one non-apology to Paul Quinn's family.
One huge electoral win, followed by a chant of "Up the Ra".
Mary Lou McDonald must be able to say: "I hear you" to her voters, it's just that her voters include a middle-aged woman in Phibsborough who voted Sinn Féin for the first time because her adult children can't find a home, and a Belfast community worker who spent his youth in the H-Block and put his faith in her party after the Good Friday Agreement.
With one foot in the past, and one foot in the future, Sinn Féin need to tighten their ship. Thousands of people forgave Sinn Féin's baggage in February, but only with certain conditions.
Voters are fickle, and won't stick around if disrespect continues.