Hours after the death of John Hume, Gerry Adams, in his opening statement to RTÉ, laid down the line later to be followed by the southern media.
John Hume, Adams said, had been "vilified and denounced by elements of the Southern Establishment".
That took some gall given that Adams was a senior figure during a time when the IRA casually mooted shooting John Hume.
But Twitter took its line from Ed Moloney's blog; he has never corrected the following false statement.
"No one who was around in April 1993... can forget the reaction of the Sunday Independent newspaper in the weeks that followed.
"Leading the charge was Eoghan Harris, former RTÉ bureaucrat cum censor in chief, Workers Party ideologe (sic) and scourge of everything Irish Nationalist."
Let me nail these two falsehoods. First, in 1993 I was writing for the Sunday Times not the Sunday Independent.
Second, far from "leading the charge" I was actually one of the first commentators to support the Hume-Adams talks.
In September 1993, a week after Hume-Adams went public, writing in the Sunday Times, I came to the following prophetic conclusion: "If it is not a ploy, and if the Provisionals pull off the peace, they stand to make substantial gains at the expense of the SDLP in the North and Fianna Fáil in the South."
A month later, on October 29, 1993, I wrote an equally supportive piece in the Irish Times headed 'Time to Lift the Provo Quarantine'.
In short, unlike critics in the Sunday Independent, I supported the Hume-Adams talks from the start.
My reservations began three years later, in February 1996, when the IRA bombed London Docklands, killing two people.
But, like Hume, I was so focused on peace that I still turned up at the UUP Conference of 1999, calling the Good Friday Agreement an "Amazing Grace", asking unionists to take a leap of faith in Sinn Féin.
Looking back at my own refusal to face reality, I can see why John Hume put his fears aside and kept talking to Adams & Co.
Looking back, too, I can see that writers in the Sunday Independent, focused on the Irish Republic as well as Northern Ireland, grasped a nettle I did not want to grasp.
Far from vilifying Hume, they were arguing - perhaps too robustly in Eamon Dunphy's case - against taking the IRA wolf into the fold of the Irish Republic.
Significantly, three chief critics of Hume-Adams came from strong nationalist families.
Conor Cruise O'Brien's mother, Kathleen Sheehy, is the model for the ultra-nationalist Miss Ivors in Joyce's The Dead. John A Murphy comes from Cork republican stock; Eilis O'Hanlon from Belfast republican royalty.
Do their critics really believe they were inspired by what Coleridge, referring to Iago, called "motiveless malignancy"?
In retrospect, they courageously risked the abuse that has followed them since to protect the Irish Republic from what they saw as contamination.
In return Sinn Féin subjected them to a very motivated malignancy cravenly accepted by media.
The worst was the smear that the Sunday Independent had run a cartoon which depicted blood dripping from John Hume's hands.
John Burns of the Sunday Times, in a forensic piece, published on 11 October 2015, demolished this myth.
He concluded: "Hume appears to be showing us his hands, one of which is shaded. There are no drips of blood."
John Hume, in his passion to bring a physical peace to Northern Ireland, did not seem to see the dire political implications of bringing the IRA into the bosom of the Republic, with the results we see today.
But northern nationalist critics of the Sunday Independent were not wrong in believing some of their writers were putting the Irish Republic's interests before those of northern nationalism. In doing so they were in a long tradition.
As far back as 1974, Dermot Nally, assistant secretary to the Cabinet, with special responsibility for Northern Ireland, wrote a revealing memo to Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave.
Nally noted the interests of the Republic "diverge markedly from the interests and policies of the SDLP and a reasonable degree of progress for the three million people living here is more important, no matter what Northern interests think, than power sharing, if the choice comes to that".
Barry Desmond, former minister for health in the Republic, echoed Dermot Nally's protective stance in his fearless memoir, Finally and in Conclusion, published in 2000.
From first to last in his long political career, Desmond unflinchingly stood up to Sinn Féin.
In a powerful polemical passage towards the end of his memoir, he summons the shade of his Old IRA father to denounce the pretensions of the Provisional IRA - or indeed any IRA which would arrogate to itself the role which belongs solely to the Army of the Irish Republic.
"My father was a volunteer in 1917 to 1921. He believed, and I believe, that there can be no place for those who wish to subvert our army, our president, our government and our constitution."
Looking back in 2000, when our evergreen national media were lauding Sinn Féin's version of the peace process, Desmond returns to his prophetic fears about where bringing the IRA into the body politic of the Republic will end. But he is certain the rot began with the Hume-Adams talks.
He gives John Hume a friendly but firm grilling for what he saw as a serious mistake in bringing the IRA in from the cold when they were on the point of defeat.
"For a short time while I was in government in the 1980s I thought John might face down the Provos."
This did not happen, Desmond says, "because John had himself taken the narrow 'final solution' negotiating stance with successive governments, he and Gerry Adams lived off each other throughout the 1990s in a Riverdance of Hume-speak and Adams ambiguities".
Desmond has no doubt that the only reason the Provos agreed to talk to Hume was because they were hurting badly from penetration by the Garda, RUC and British intelligence.
"They now expect us to bow the knee in retrospective admiration for the 'armed struggle'."
From Hume-Adams flowed the "peace process" which sees Sinn Féin dominating Northern nationalism and well set for State power in the Republic.
But John Hume is not responsible for any adverse results of his Herculean work for peace in his beloved Northern Ireland.
He is not responsible for Northern nationalists voting for Sinn Féin. Nor for the southern media's indulgence of Sinn Féin and the loss of our moral compass.
John Hume never lost his own moral compass. His cherished peace process was taken from him by evil elements and used to erode ethical boundaries in both parts of the island.
Like Conor Cruise O'Brien, I believe John Hume was "driven on by a passionate desire to bring about peace in our time".
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.