The weekend attacks on the police mark a return to the bad old days here when violence was paramount and politics was in the shadows.
The violence has decreased significantly since the worst of the Troubles, but the disgraceful episodes of the last few days have shown that a minority of people have not learned from the past.
Those who orchestrated attacks on the police were out to cause the maximum disruption possible, and the incidents had the hallmarks of a carefully-orchestrated campaign by dissident republicans.
Some young people will seek any excuse in order to create trouble, but no cause or ideology can justify the kind of pig-headed stupidity and mayhem which occurred at the weekend.
This came after a bad period when a bomb in Newry could have caused extensive damage and loss of life. These incidents have occurred almost on the first anniversary of the murder of two soldiers in Antrim and a policeman in Craigavon, and there is no coincidence involved.
The dissidents are determined to undermine politics and the peace process, and they should be given no quarter, or any justification for their actions which are pure evil.
It is crucial that the entire community stands firmly behind the police and security forces at this dangerous time, and every financial and moral support should be given to those who are facing|up to this continuing threat.
Northern Ireland has been down this road of violence too many times, and it has only made matters worse. People with information which could help the police have a duty to come forward. The politicians also have a duty to make politics work, and we all have a duty to set our face firmly against violence. There is no other way.