It’s rare that politicians in Northern Ireland ever apologise, regardless of the allegations thrown in their direction.
More usually they double down in the hope that the news cycle will eventually move on.
This goes some way to explaining why members of the public in general find it hard to have faith in politics.
However, those politicians who offered condolences following the sudden death of rugby player David Tweed discovered that’s not always the case.
Events of the last few weeks have demonstrated that people should never underestimated the power of a band of sisters, their bond so unwaveringly strong that not even the horrors of an abusive childhood could break it.
Amanda Brown was the first member of the family to speak out about her abuse at the hands of Tweed, but her sisters would not allow her to face the storm alone and soon joined her.
The dignified way they have told their stories more powerful than any political spin doctor.
Tweed was a monster, a violent man who terrorised his family, brutalised his wife and sexually abused his daughters.
His daughters called him ‘Teflon Tweed’, but eventually his luck ran out and he was convicted and sentenced to eight years.
He was to serve four with 50% remission but shortly before he was due for release his defence team successfully argued a loophole in law linked to the judge’s summing up which meant he was eligible for a retrial.
His victims did not feel able to endure a second trial with no prospect of further prison time. This was all in the public domain.
The DUP with a much savvier backroom were the first to realise they were on the wrong side of public opinion and issued an apology.
Jim Allister, a man used to his contrary ways being popular with his electorate, doubled down before realising he wasn’t just on the wrong side of the argument but on a different planet altogether.
On Wednesday evening, he finally released a statement accepting his comments added to their hurt.
What brought these three politicians to make such a dramatic and rare U-turn?
The power of five young sisters, who finally found their voice and used it to make sure the justice they were denied during Tweed’s life would not be denied to them in his death.