If David Davis had thus far managed to deliver an accomplished performance on Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, his shambolic visit to the Irish border on Monday might have been overlooked.
The appalling slaughter of ten innocent civilians when a van was deliberately driven into pedestrians in the centre of Toronto was followed by an astonishing act of heroism on the part of a police officer.
There are clear indications that the tone of the debate over the future of the Irish border in a post-Brexit era is evolving more rapidly than almost anyone anticipated after the UK's 2016 EU referendum.
There will be enormous sympathy for the small Church of Ireland congregation in Co Donegal which has been left with an €150,000 bill to repair a spire which was badly damaged when struck by lighting on Christmas Day.
While it is not entirely clear what border arrangements will be in place by the time the UK leaves the European Union, the British government has moved to recruit hundreds of Border Force officers for Britain and Northern Ireland.
The singer Big Tom McBride, who has died at the age of 81, enjoyed an amazing career which took him all round the world and he was probably the best known star in the colourful history of Irish country music.
Although some fans may have felt Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding could have played for Ulster and Ireland after being acquitted of rape, the sordid details of this case made such a return virtually impossible.
It has been a deeply disturbing period for public transport staff with a brick thrown at a bus driver in west Belfast and an indecent assault on a train conductor in Newtownabbey within the space of 24 hours.