The announcement on Sunday of the death of veteran republican Bobby Storey came on the same day that Ireland stood still for the State funeral of Detective Garda Colm Horkan.
That was a sombre and moving affair, watched online by tens of thousands of people who didn't know the dead man, but who'd been shocked at his murder last week. Across the country, a minute's silence was observed at midday in the fallen officer's memory, and the national flag was flown at half mast at Garda Headquarters and all Garda stations as a mark of respect.
The most touching moment happened in his home town of Charlestown in Co Mayo, where fellow Guards lined the streets to pay homage as their colleague's coffin, draped in an Irish flag, his cap and gloves on top, was carried to its final resting place.
The exact details of how the 49-year-old Detective Garda lost his life remain unclear. A man appeared at a special night-time sitting of the district court last week to face charges of murder. All that's known is that shortly before midnight on Wednesday, whilst on a routine patrol in Co Roscommon, Colm Harkan had his own gun seized from him, and received fatal gun shot wounds. The murder sparked an outpouring of anguish in the Republic, recalling the trauma of the IRA murder of Jerry McCabe during a post office van raid in 1996. People were said to be "devastated, heartbroken and completely floored".
It's a reminder of the dangers which serving police officers face. There was another demonstration of that in Reading in England on Saturday. Three people died after a man, later identified as a Libyan asylum seeker, started stabbing people in a local park.
Appalling as that terrorist attack was, it could have been so much worse if it hadn't been for one lone police officer who rugby tackled the killer to the ground and disarmed him.
The bravery that police show every day is remarkable, and humbling. Protesters who've spent recent weeks demonising the police, egged on by inflammatory statements from certain sections of the media and the body politic, would do well to consider how much society's safety depends on the willingness of men and women in uniform to risk their lives to protect others.
Thankfully, most ordinary people do recognise and appreciate the sacrifices which the police make. That's why the killing of a police officer on duty is regarded as a particularly heinous crime. Mercifully, it's a rare event in the Irish Republic.
That was not the case in Northern Ireland for many decades. Here, some 300 police officers were murdered during the course of the Troubles - the vast majority at the hands of the Provisional IRA, 12 by other republican groups, and eight by loyalist terrorists. Often members of their families died alongside them. Over 9,000 police officers were also wounded, many of whom were left with life changing injuries. That figure, incredibly, is nine times greater than the total population of Detective Garda Horkan's home town.
Police in the Republic did not escape unscathed from the scourge of IRA violence. Of the 89 people on the Garda Roll of Honour, 23 were killed by individuals or groups associated with republican terrorism.
The last Guard to die before last week was Tony Golden, shot dead in Co Louth in 2015 by a dissident republican who also shot his own partner and then killed himself. Before that, it was Adrian Donohoe in 2013, again in Louth, who was killed whilst part of a two-man security detail accompanying a delivery of cash to the local credit union.
His killers belonged to a criminal gang with links to dissidents, and their car was later found burned out on the northern side of the border.
Despite this litany of tragedy, though, there has always been an undoubted smack of double standards south of the border when it comes to attitudes towards the deaths of police officers in Northern Ireland as opposed to their own.
Public opinion was horrified when the killers of Garda McCabe were championed by Sinn Fein, who even refused at one time to sign off on a decommissioning deal unless the men were included in the prisoner release scheme, whilst simultaneously claiming that the raid on the post office van in which he was killed hadn't been authorised by IRA leaders.
Voters in the South are far less angry when Sinn Fein lionises the killers of police officers in Northern Ireland.
It's only a couple of years since the party's deputy leader paid tribute to the eight members of the IRA who were shot dead in an SAS ambush in Loughgall in 1987 after driving a digger loaded with explosives through the perimeter fence of the RUC station in the village. On the 30th anniversary of that event, Michelle O'Neill told a rally that she was "proud of our freedom struggle" and "especially proud of our republican patriot dead and each of our fallen comrades with whom we are gathered to remember, honour and whose lives we celebrate here today".
The same fulsome eulogies will be heard in the coming days following the death of Bobby Storey. Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald immediately issued a statement yesterday praising the Maze escapee's "selfless dedication to his republican ideals" and referring to his "republican activism". These are nice euphemisms, but they barely scratch the surface of the atrocities which Storey's IRA committed over decades, and they make an utter nonsense of Mary Lou's comments just a few hours earlier, when she described the killing of Detective Garda Horkan as a "shocking incident" and a "sad and difficult day for An Garda Siochana", before adding: "My thoughts are with the Garda's family and colleagues at this time."
Is killing police officers wrong, or isn't it?
Nothing that Sinn Fein says on this matter is particularly surprising, but it is still bewildering that they get a free pass from so many voters in the Republic when they "celebrate" and "honour" those who were part of an organisation that murdered hundreds of police officers in Northern Ireland, and attempted to murder thousands more, whilst joining in the collective public sorrow at the death of police officers in a different uniform.
In February, Sinn Fein even topped the poll in the country's general election.
Republicans are entitled to remember their dead, but if the double standards of their words goes unchallenged, the clear implication is that it just wasn't as bad when serving police officers were killed in Northern Ireland.
It seems that all police are equal, but some are more equal than others.