David Ford was in Glasgow this week. The justice minister wasn't on a mini-break – he was paying a visit to the Alliance's sister party, the Liberal Democrats, which chose to hold its conference in Scotland.
UUP MLA Danny Kinahan was at the meeting, as was Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy.
The presence of Sinn Fein at British party conferences has long since ceased to be contentious, even when the venue is the Grand Hotel in Brighton.
The relationship between Alliance and the Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats takes a bit of explaining, though.
For example, the Lib Dems don't contest elections in the province, preferring to support Alliance candidates. Ford and others are members of both parties.
It is no coincidence that the Lib Dems chose to meet in Glasgow this year, rather than in one of the usual venues, such as Bournemouth, or Blackpool.
But you could be forgiven for thinking Northern Ireland isn't part of that vision.
She spoke of "a settlement that recognises the need for more autonomy across the UK, in Wales and Scotland, but also London, England, the regions".
In her 2,700-word speech, Northern Ireland was not mentioned at all. In truth, the Lib Dems have little to say on it.
Within the coalition, the Northern Ireland Office is one of the handful of departments with no Lib Dem minister and their MPs rarely speak when Northern Ireland issues are debated at Westminster. The Liberal Democrats in Northern Ireland's online presence consists of a blog.
Stephen Lloyd speaks for the party in the Commons on Northern Ireland.
He is assiduous in his duties, but it is telling that, in spite of all that has gone on in Northern Ireland in the past year, from flag protests to the G8 to dissident attacks on police, he won't be speaking from the platform.
By contrast, both the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, and her shadow, Vernon Coaker, will address their respective conferences in the coming weeks. This benign neglect of Northern Ireland by the Lib Dems is understandable, if frustrating. They are a party of government, but their day-to-day focus is on winning battles within the coalition.
Nick Clegg and his Lib Dem ministers let the Conservatives take the lead when it comes to Northern Ireland.