It does not happen with anything like the frequency that it once did, but Republic of Ireland politicians from time to time still show that they feel they have a right to interfere in the running of Northern Ireland.
Micheal Martin, the Fianna Fail leader, this weekend urged the British and Irish governments to directly intervene in the running of the Province, to stop the damage of the DUP/Sinn Fein stranglehold.
The DUP leader and first minister Arlene Foster pointed to the current political paralysis in Dublin and said of his criticism of the Stormont Executive: “If it wasn’t so offensive it would probably be quite funny.”
Mr Martin was probably aiming his comments principally at Sinn Fein, whose political progress in the Republic Fianna Fail is keen to thwart. No doubt he felt that when addressing a Republic audience he then needed to balance his remarks with criticism of the DUP.
But the comments, however explicable politically, are ridiculous not just for the reason that Mrs Foster cites. Unionists in Northern Ireland have to share power with the political representatives of terrorists because no other arrangement was acceptable to Dublin or to nationalist Ireland.
Sinn Fein seems set to be the largest nationalist party in the Province for the foreseeable future, so it will be at the heart of government for the foreseeable future. No other possibility is acceptable to Dublin, and there is not a chance that London would ever stand up to Dublin.
We have seen how this pans out since 1998. Whenever the IRA does something despicable, everyone is punished. Sinn Fein is never specifically sanctioned, not even for the Northern Bank robbery or for IRA murders. This means that Fianna Fail is entirely culpable for the situation that it condemns.
Meanwhile, it is London that pays the bills while Dublin has the nerve to think that it can dictate governance here. If only British governments would join unionists in telling Republic politicians to get lost when they interfere like this.