That the country should so palpably pause last Friday morning is testament to the special personal qualities that Seamus Heaney conspicuously exhibited.
The strains are getting intense. The latest indicators are stark. Mortgage arrears continue to rise.
On the face of it, it might seem surprising that the state is moving to create new graduate job positions, as we report today.
The summer school season is coming to an end. The annual bouts of introspection have their uses, of course, and in cases like the Magill school encourage important debate.
The addition of 25 extra points for students who pass honours maths in the Leaving Certificate may not have been a perfect policy approach.
The government is trying to cling to its promise of providing free GP care, now deciding that this should start with those under five years of age.
The brouhaha surrounding Joe Brolly's verbal volley against Sean Cavanagh and the Tyrone gaelic football team have deflected attention away from the real story of the GAA this year.
It is the season of summer schools, and the air is heady with talk of political reform.
The government is not slow to tell the banks to "get on with it" when dealing with the mortgage crisis. But behind the scenes, ministers recognise one very tricky reality.
During the 1980s and the 1990s - and very likely before then - planning corruption was rife in Co Dublin, and almost certainly elsewhere as well.
Getting "rid of" the troika and exiting the bailout programme is seen as a big goal for the government.
It was good that the government engineered a deal on the promissory note which will save about €1 billion from the budget arithmetic next year.
The amazement that has greeted Lucinda Creighton's resignation as a junior minister is a slightly depressing commentary on our political system.
The banks were given taxpayers' money as part of a recapitalisation deal. One part of this was that they had enough capital to deal with bad debts.
While no government can magic economic growth out of thin air, it is in the government's power to make economic growth as job-friendly as possible.