SF wasn't going to let itself misread mood again
The handshake in Belfast became inevitable because there was no handshake in Dublin between Queen Elizabeth and Martin McGuinness when she registered such a spectacular success with her visit last year.
That visit, as everyone knows, could hardly have been better conceived and better handled, with the British and Irish governments pouring such enormous effort into it.
The only people who lost out in Dublin were Sinn Fein, who fell back on the boycott, a tactic they had largely abandoned in recent times. In doing so they excluded themselves from the warm glow of goodwill which everyone else basked in.