Anniversaries of the murderous atrocities from decades of conflict serve as a bleak reminder of the terrible suffering inflicted on families, the pain that never ends and the devastation caused to wider communities.
The next five days will be among the most dramatic in our recent sporting history, with both Northern Ireland and the Republic involved in crucial World Cup play-offs and the Irish squad taking on Australia in the opening International Rules test.
The UVF threat to four Catholic families in Cantrell Close, Belfast, rightly caused outrage but the reality is that this is a bigger problem with hundreds of people forced from their homes every year by paramilitaries.
WHILE every murder during The Troubles was evil, bringing shame and disgrace on the perpetrators and any cause with which they were associated, there must always be particular concern over cases in which credible evidence suggests the forces of the state played a role at any level.
When the New York Times published explosive allegations of sexual misconduct in relation to Harvey Weinstein four weeks ago, few would have imagined that the fallout from that scandal would have potentially serious repercussions for the British government.
It is appalling that two rogue traders were not only able to dupe a pensioner into handing over £1,000 to get the driveway of his Lurgan house power washed but also left without even starting the work.
The vast majority of people will find it difficult to understand the thinking of those who set out to cause as much damage as possible to property, including a cross-community hub and the gates of a cemetery.
Peadar Heffron has spoken in detail for the first time about the devastating injuries he suffered in a dissident republican bomb attack and also how he was `shunned' by his GAA club after joining the PSNI.
There will be enormous disappointment that, on the basis of a recommendation from a key organising committee yesterday, Ireland is unlikely to be given the huge opportunity of staging the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The vast majority of Irish citizens, from north and south and of all traditions, will take the same strongly positive attitude towards the expected arrival of Pope Francis next year as they did towards the visit of Queen Elizabeth in 2011.