Why are the ructions from IRA veteran Bobby Storey's funeral, now more than a week old, still rumbling on?
Certainly, if anyone had predicted back in January, when the Northern Ireland Assembly was finally restored after three years in cold storage, that its survival would be threatened within months by the attendance of the Sinn Fein leadership at a showy funeral for one of their own, most observers would have said that they were mad.
There were many other issues which looked far more likely to destabilise relations within the power-sharing Executive, not least the differences between parties over who should be entitled to a Troubles pension.
In due course, that may still prove to be the final straw.
But a funeral? Surely, that should not be allowed to undo years of painstaking negotiation and compromise?
It could be, though, that this is an issue on which it is worth standing firm, even if it does set the whole edifice wobbling again. It has exposed far deeper discontents than RHI.
It may arguably be even more fundamental to Northern Ireland's future than questions around a contested past.
When it comes to Troubles pensions, Sinn Fein insists that its position is based on an insistence that everyone should be treated equally, but Bobby Storey's funeral has exposed that as a lie. They don't want equality, they want preferential treatment.
That is why this story continues to have traction. Republicans think they are being targeted unfairly for criticism, and that it is further evidence of some great conspiracy against them, but all that is really happening is that they are being asked to behave according to the same rules as everyone else.
It is that modest demand which has sent them into a tail spin of angry self-pity.
What has been revealed by the massive public reaction to what happened in Belfast last week, across people from all communities, all parties, is a deep desire that everyone in Northern Ireland must be treated equally in future in order for the business of peace building and reconciliation to work.
The Covid-19 crisis cemented that longing. The whole narrative around the virus was that we were "all in it together" and no one was better, or more important, than anyone else and, for once, it didn't feel like empty rhetoric. It wasn't just words.
To have that spirit trampled on, simply so that Sinn Fein could glorify another "Oglach" with an unknown number of horrific crimes on his conscience, felt like a kick in the teeth to everyone who had made sacrifices during the coronavirus emergency.
There could not have been a more glaring demonstration of how much contempt republicans hold for people who aren't in, or fervent supporters of, their movement.
Expecting a full and sincere apology is a waste of time. Even when caught red-handed, Sinn Fein's begrudging efforts to find the right words to acknowledge what they've done wrong are always qualified with so many manifold "ifs" and "buts" and "whatabouts" as to be meaningless. As for resignations, forget it.
It is this culture which has to change. The apology from Belfast City Council may be too little too late for the eight families who were denied the chance on the day of Bobby Storey's funeral to honour their dead at Roselawn Cemetery in the same manner, but at least facing up to that "error of judgment" reiterated how everyone else is trying to stay on the same page when it comes to this story.
It is Sinn Fein which needs to decide if it wants to find common ground with ordinary people who suffered during the recent months of lockdown, or whether it intends to continue down a road of wallowing in its own exceptionalism at the expense of community cohesion.