Sinn Féin's relentless denials must alert us to the dangers
Tánaiste Joan Burton chose an apt and important word when she spoke of an "insidious threat" from a residual Provisional IRA to democracy on this island.
"Insidious," the dictionary tells us, is a 16th-century Latin word. These days, it is mainly used as an adjective describing something which proceeds in a gradual and subtle way - but often with very harmful effects.
The almost 30 years of shocking war which mainly, but not exclusively, afflicted the north-east of this island, claimed the lives of over 3,500 human beings and blighted the lives of many in their extended families. Its impact on language was more than a clue to the attendant series of rolling horrors we still struggle to shake off.