So that's it. One of the most heartbreaking, bitter and divise chapters of recent Irish history ran its full course on Wednesday when 44-year-old Pearse McCauley and 52-year-old Kevin Walsh walked out of Castlerea prison in Roscommon.
The last of the men convicted of the manslaughter of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe in 1996 have received their freedom. The rule of law has been served. But the bitterness of what these men did and the grief for the life that they took will last longer than the minutes and hours of any prison sentence.
Not since the murder of Mayor George Clancy and ex-Mayor Michael O'Callaghan on March 7 1921 had Limerick been so brutally forced to confront such intimate violence, be it in the name of national independence or the crimes of subversives.
Of course, by June 1996 too many people in Northern Ireland had endured lifetimes of fire and murder. But the peace of Main Street, Adare and the stillness of our opinions in the Republic were broken that day.