Now North's interests are at risk of being lost in Brexit talks
The resignation of Martin McGuinness and the effective collapse of power-sharing in the North is undoubtedly bad timing.
A snap election in Northern Ireland is almost certain, harkening a political vacuum at a time of intense uncertainty for these islands.
Without the Executive up and running, the North's interests in terms of Brexit will fall squarely to a Conservative government in London to defend, as it prepares to enter formal negotiations in two months. The so-called 'cash-for-ash' issue is of importance to taxpayers, given the mounting costs, but it is a distraction from the frankly much larger and more critical issue of the UK's EU withdrawal.