If debates over flags and emblems are carried out in a climate of tolerance and mutual respect, then, even in the tense conditions which are often present in the summer months across many areas, they are capable of reaching a positive outcome.
It was entirely appropriate that the Israeli ambassador was summoned to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin to be told of what taoiseach Leo Varadkar described as the Irish people's outrage and dismay over the appalling bloodshed in Gaza.
A week after Theresa May was caught out peddling inaccurate information over legacy cases, she has once again created an unintentional stir in Northern Ireland over comments aimed at a Conservative audience.
We know that legacy cases from our violent past are among the most difficult and sensitive matters yet to be resolved, with bereaved families waiting decades to be told the full circumstances of a loved one's death.
There are growing indications that the attempts by the British prime minister Theresa May to finalise what she hoped to present as a pragmatic solution to the Irish border crisis during her Brexit negotiations are on the point of collapse.
ALL those associated with the various stages of the disastrous Brexit campaign, particularly its supporters in the DUP, would do well to reflect on the ultimate fate of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).