While the weather conditions of recent days were amazingly extreme for the time of year, the fact that they had been comprehensively predicted suggests that the level of preparation displayed by the authorities was simply inadequate.
DERRY is a city where heartening agreements have been made over many years on contentious issues like parading and where a strongly positive example has regularly been given to Belfast and other urban centres in terms of community relations.
A spate of sudden and unexplained deaths within a matter of days, as well as grim evidence heard by coroners during the same period, has again placed a firm spotlight on the threat presented by both illegal and prescription drugs.
The proposal from the former Methodist moderator, Rev Harold Good, that a day of acknowledgment should be organised to reflect on the traumatic events of the last five decades has considerable potential.
For Northern Ireland and the Republic, the imposition of any form of border controls or checkpoints would be disastrous, impacting on the free movement of people and goods with the probability of far-reaching political and security repercussions.
The public burning of flags and emblems in an attempt to insult and provoke different sections of the community has caused widespread concern for some time Both loyalists and republicans have engaged in similarly unacceptable behaviour over recent weeks, with the latest episode involving the placing of poppy wreaths on a bonfire in the Bogside area of Derry.
A Dublin sportswear firm's donation of a new set of jerseys to the members of Ballycastle Camogie Club after their old playing gear, together with a range of personal possessions, was stolen from their team bus close to Croke Park, was a welcome gesture.
The case of a Co Antrim man who died by suicide after being confronted by a group of self-styled `paedophile hunters', has caused deep concern and raises questions about the activities of such organisations.
With this year's internment anniversary now passed, it is a good time for Belfast City Council, statutory agencies, politicians and community representatives to take stock of the summer's events in relation to bonfires.
IT IS doubtful if many, indeed any, of those involved in violence in the Markets area of Belfast yesterday were alive at the time internment without trial was introduced by the British government in a disastrous bid to end the then embryonic 'troubles' in 1971.