Less than a week after John Hume, the chief architect of the North’s peace agreement, died, the old, poisoned monsters pawed the ground and reminded the world that what passes for normal in that society remains absurdly abnormal.
Over the weekend, police officers came under sustained attack in west Belfast, as they facilitated the removal of a bonfire pyre prepared to mark the introduction of internment, a year short of half a century ago, on August 9, 1971.
At least 26 PSNI officers were injured at Distillery St as city workers removed the material.
Imagine the public and official outrage if, say, 26 gardaí were injured at a similar event in this Republic. It would be universal and demand a response.
Anyone who has followed events in the North over the decades knows too well that every one of these outbursts is choreographed by one organisation or another.
How tragic it is, then, that, days after Hume’s work and courage were celebrated in every corner of Ireland, these dark forces are still so powerful.
Actions, once again, speak loudest of all.