The apparent bomb threat to Simon Coveney, supposedly the work of the UVF, was a disgraceful and disturbing incident.
The bomb was in the end a hoax, but the incident was nonetheless highly menacing.
Unionists across the political spectrum have been highly critical of Mr Coveney, who is seen as one of the most pro nationalist and partisan of the major southern Irish politicians. But that is beside the point when it comes to violence or threats or calculated imitations of it.
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Any actual or implied threat against a democratically elected leader or any other politician is despicable. It is also counter productive.
The incident, which was focused on the Holy Cross Catholic parish centre where Mr Coveney was giving his address, also suggest a movement towards terror in some sections of loyalism. This would be a disastrous error.
The arguments against the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the constitutional damage that it does, have gained traction locally and in London. Joint and calm displays of united opposition to the Irish Sea border, such as at the Tory conference last year by unionist leaders, have been noticed in influential circles.
They are helping to change minds and are the best way to proceed.
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