Even the hardened hacks were astonished, grizzled veterans of the long miles of the Northern Peace Process.
By the standards of western democracy, the election in the North must be one of the most bizarre ever to have taken place.
With election fever rising, it was only to be expected that the debate about the costs of the tribunals would have had an outing last week.
Ahead of the general election, RTE’s The Week In Politics programme has hired American political analyst Frank Luntz to conduct a series of focus groups.
Is the general election already becoming something of a non-event?
Whatever the developments in the North in the next couple of weeks, the long-term prospects for devolved power-sharing look grim.
This Wednesday, President George W Bush will announce what has been called ‘a new initiative’ on Iraq.
What now for the neo-cons? What now for the war on terror? Has any US president - apart from Richard Milhous Nixon when he received his impeachment documentation - been handed a report quite like the Baker Report George Bush got on Wednesday?