Published Thursday, 27 September 2012
Martin McGuinness made it clear he was unhappy with the language used by Unionist politicians over the past few weeks.
He maintained it was a time for cool heads and wondered whether there was a battle going on in Unionism over control of the covenant celebrations.
The motion of no-confidence in Nelson McCausland on the Assembly floor did little to ease political tensions.
Jim Allister's Special Advisors Bill on Tuesday also provoked strong opinions.
Peter Robinson and Mike Nesbitt have been keen to show a united front regarding the covenant.
There was an agreement between the DUP and UUP dating back to when Tom Elliott was in Nesbitt's job.
On Friday the two parties will jointly hold a dinner in Stormont's Great Hall to mark the event.
It is clear the Unionist leaders feel this weekend is crucial to their grassroots, hence the two leaders went together to the Parades Commission.
There are now fingers crossed the weekend parade will pass off peacefully and politicians can return to the bread and butter issues, especially the economy.
There was no threat to the security of the Stormont institutions by this week's exchanges.
All the parties are now so integrated into the system, it is hard to see what would bring down the institutions.
But all agree a calmer atmosphere makes for better politics.
The stakes are indeed high this weekend.
The parties will be hoping it is a peaceful Saturday.
But no-matter what happens, it will be back to business at the Assembly on Monday.