Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers appointed a three-person panel last month to review the PSNI assessment of the current status of paramilitary groups. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Assessment, expected Thursday, could dictate if political impasse can be resolved

Prior to being charged with dissident republican membership in the Special Criminal Court in January 2015, Adrian Crevan Mackin (24)  had been convicted in Northern Ireland of having extreme pornographic images on his computer.

Killer of Garda Tony Golden had engaged in activities such as drugs and counterfeit cash

Martin McGuinness with masked IRA men at the funeral of Brendan Burns in 1988. File photograph: Pacemaker

Senior Sinn Féin member is asked question repeatedly during new interview on Irish TV

Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers addresses the Conservative Party conference at Manchester Central on Wednesday. Photograph: PA

Theresa Villiers tells Tory conference possibility exists of return to British direct rule

Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers has warned the survival of devolved government in Northern Ireland is at stake in the current talks aimed at resolving the key issues of paramilitarism and the deadlock over welfare reform. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters.

Northern Secretary says resistance to welfare reform could collapse powersharing

Terry Leathem, principal of Glenwood Primary School on the Shankill Road.

Glenwood Primary School principal not surprised Protestant working class boys are underachieving compared with their Catholic coun(...)

Shipyard workers in 1999. Protestant school-leavers still think more in terms of jobs than higher education, though many of the jobs have gone. Photograph: Stephen Davison

North’s Equality Commission also finds racist bullying of children from minority groups

Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard: “lack of discernible unionist political reaction.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Loyalist paramilitary group asserts it ‘won’t be leaving the stage’ while republican groups still operating

A masked member of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) colour party at a Remembrance Day service  in  north Belfast, in  2004. Photograph: PA

Loyalist paramilitary group will remain ‘whilst republicans of any faction still exist’

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers:  was involved in the negotiations at Stormont with Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan on Thursday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Politicians will also meet to address issue of paramilitarism following doubt over talks

The PSNI and new National Crime Agency’s combined efforts during Operation Jarra resulted in the arrests of 25 people in Northern Ireland

Viewers of indecent images leave a digital footprint and we will find them, says NCA chief

DUP leader and former Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

DUP leader rejects allegation made by loyalist blogger as ‘scurrilous’

Theresa Villiers: the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has published proposals on how to help victims of the Troubles. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Northern Secretary insists proposals do not amount to an amnesty for ex-paramilitaries

The scene of the shooting in Loughgall, Co Armagh, in 1987. Photograph: Tom Lawlor/The Irish Times

Investigation into death of civilian and eight IRA men justified, says advocate general

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers at her office in Stormont House, Belfast, after publishing proposed legislation to establish new mechanisms to deal with the legacy of the Troubles  contained in the Stormont House Agreement. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Northern Secretary sets out how historic killings to be investigated and victims aided

A file image from 1987 showing the  wreckage of the mechanical digger and the van used by the IRA men at Loughgall. Photograph: The Irish Times

North’s Advocate General decides inquests justified into deaths of civilian, eight IRA men

The PSNI arrested a 56 year-old woman in Belfast, while the gardaí arrested a 47 year-old man in Donegal

One man already charged with murder of Edward Gibson (28) in October 2014

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Group will judge PSNI assessment of IRA’s status in bid to break deadlock in North

Policing Board to discuss report with chief constable

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has announced the names of the three members of the one-off panel on the Stormont crisis. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Lord Carlile, Rosalie Flanagan and Stephen Shaw to assess paramilitary activity in NI

“Our politicians have a critical opportunity to restore hope to those who are struggling,” said Catholic primate Archbishop Eamon Martin in a joint statement with other Christian leaders. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Clerics urge Stormont politicians to be aware of ‘shared responsibilty for common good’

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness with Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams before entering talks on Monday. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

The latest round of cross-party talks at Stormont follows months of tension in the North

(Left to right) Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald, Martin McGuinness, Michelle O’Neill and Gerry Adams arrive to speak to the media at Stormont in Belfast, as talks involving Northern Ireland’s five main political parties begin.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Martin McGuinness complains about suggestions at Northern crisis talks at Stormont

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams make their way to a press conference at the front of Stormont on Monday. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

McGuinness says both sides must apply ‘spirit of generosity’ throughout talks

DUP leader Peter Robinson. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Irish and British governments will join discussions aimed at solving Stormont crisis

DUP leader Peter Robinson has been released from the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Former first minister treated as a ‘precaution’ after reaction to medication

 DUP party leader Peter Robinson: “I am an optimist by nature. I believe that there is a way through . . . I still believe that the direction of travel is right.” Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

DUP leader Villiers to make commitments before engaging in all-party negotiations

Taoiseach Enda Kenny he hopes talks to resolve the crisis at Stormont can ‘be got on track’ shortly. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / The Irish Times

Flanagan and Villiers to meet delegations from some of North’s parties on Wednesday

Arlene Foster: Made it clear that the DUP was expecting more from Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers. Photograph: PA

Robinson and Foster raise doubts about whether substantive negotiations can start

Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers delivers the British government statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon.

New IMC body and British crime agency would judge status of paramilitary groups

DUP leader Peter Robinson: appears to want some commitments in relation to a body or bodies that would help establish whether or not the IRA has gone away. Photograph: Getty Images

Reassuring DUP without alienating Sinn Féin is task facing Northern Secretary

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt (right) after speaking to the media at Stormont in Belfast. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Northern Secretary to outline basis for negotiations to resolve political deadlock

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness speaks to reporters at Stormont Castle in Belfast on Monday. Photograph: Getty

Unionist parties indicate they will not participate in talks unless preconditions are met

Comments by Bobby Storey that the IRA had gone away were ridiculed by the Traditional Unionist Voice party. Photograph: Reuters

Negotiations to rescue Stormont begin against expected level of recrimination

Sinn Féin’s northern chairman Bobby Storey speaks during a press conference at the Roddy McCorley Social Club in west Belfast. Photograph: PA

Martin McGuinness asks whether ‘agents’ hostile to Sinn Féin were involved in murder

A tourist writes a message on a section of the Peace Wall in the  Shankill area of west Belfast in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

First Minister says he does not want vacated Stormont posts going to Sinn Féin or SDLP

Peter Robinson: a deal in the coming weeks would certainly suit the First Minister and the DUP. Photograph:  Stephen Davison

Were either Robinson or McGuinness to formally quit the stage then Villiers would be obliged to call elections

 SDLP party leader Alastair McDonnell leads his party past a painting of the late Ian Paisley, at Stormont yesterday. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Eastablishment of commission seen as possible way of resolving deadlock

DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson during a press conference in Stormont on Thursday. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

New monitoring body a ‘credible’ solution to Stormont crisis, Villiers says

Peter Robinson: “Standing aside as First Minister and other DUP Ministers will resign with immediate effect with the exception of Arlene Foster.” Photograph: PA

NI Secretary to invite five main parties to Stormont on Monday to explore options

Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland,  gives her reaction to yesterday’s DUP walkout. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Northern Ireland crisis raises questions about whether Executive is worth saving

Northern Ireland First minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson at Stormont, Belfast. Photograph: PA Wire

Analysis: Peter Robinson’s warning of losing Executive for a decade not without precedent

Bobby Storey. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Three men arrested in investigation of McGuigan murder are senior republicans

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has intervened in a last-ditch effort to prevent the Northern Executive and Assembly collapsing. Photograph: Getty

Enda Kenny holding emergency meeting with the SDLP in Dublin on Thursday

First Minister Peter Robinson warned on Wednesday afternoon that the DUP will collapse the Northern Executive and Assembly if the Stormont Assembly is not adjourned or suspended. Photograph: PA

In wake of arrests of three senior republicans DUP leader warns sittings must be adjourned

Bobby Storey is the chairman of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland.

Martin McGuinness states ‘surprise’ at arrest of Sinn Féin’s Northern chairman

First Minister Peter Robinson and North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA

Adams accuses Theresa Villiers of making ‘above her pay scale’ suspension threat

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers (centre) leaving the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin after meeting Minister for Foreign Affairs  Charlie Flanagan (right) and  Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald last week. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Northern Secretary says ‘real prospect’ of Executive running out of money for services

The site of a dig in Coghalstown, Co Meath where the remains of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee were recovered from a shallow grave. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee were abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1972

The Parliament Buildings in the Stormont Estate in Belfast Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Heenan-Anderson report was to have been Labour’s blueprint for the North had Labour won the British general election

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson (centre) at Stormont where he said there will be no further routine meetings of the power-sharing Executive until the political crisis is resolved. Photograph: Lesley-Anne McKeown/PA Wire

First Minister raises possibility of Northern Ireland Assembly elections as ‘last resort’

After the Haass talks and the Stormont House talks now we have the Stormont House Mark II talks and a fatigued willingness on behalf of the usual protagonists to push the rock up the hill again. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

Analysis: DUP and Sinn Féin posturing will continue though there isn’t that much to talk about

Peter Robinson said  the Executive would only meet in “exceptional circumstances” while the talks involving the British and Irish governments and the North’s five main parties are taking place. Photograph: Lesley-Anne McKeown /PA Wire

Talks over murder of former IRA member and welfare deadlock to begin on Tuesday

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness: Theresa Villiers making a “huge mistake” by her welfare threat. Photograph:  Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Talks scheduled in context of rolling crisis over IRA and welfare-changes deadlock

Charlie Flanagan describes threat to impose welfare cuts as ‘a departure from devolution’

Talks aimed at resolving Stormont crisis begin on Tuesday

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: Time for “constructive ambiguity” in relation to issues such as the existence of the IRA were long past. Photograph: The Irish Times

Sinn Féin mantra that IRA has now gone away ‘simply not credible’, claims Taoiseach

Alfie Martin: the 95-year-old second World War hero called on councillors at Belfast City Hall to fulfill the promise of peace the end of the war had brought elsewhere. Photograph: Justin Kernoghan

Veterans reminisce on 70th anniversary of formal end to second World War

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers, Minister of State Seán Sherlock and Minister for  Foreign Affairs  Charlie Flanagan  at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

British and Irish governments to avail of British Irish Association conference to push for resolution

First Minister Peter Robinson  and DUP MP Nigel Dodds arrive at Downing Street to meet British prime minister  David Cameron. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

North’s First Minister Peter Robinson meets British prime minister in Downing Street

Northern Ireland  First Minister Peter Robinson (left) and DUP North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds arrive at Downing Street, London, for a meeting with British PM David Cameron. Photograph: PA

British and Irish governments set for comprehensive talks in bid to avert collapse

The Democratic Unionists -  led by First Minister Peter Robinson - have been defeated in a bid for a four-week adjournment of the Northern Ireland Assembly to allow for political negotiations, a party spokesman said. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

McGuinness calls for urgent talks with Kenny and Cameron in bid to resolve crisis

Secretary of state for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers is holding talks in Dublin with Charlie Flanagan and Frances Fitzgerald. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

Robinson says republicans not unionists should pay price for IRA misbehaviour

First Minister Peter Robinson: has had a rough year, personally and politically. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Sinn Féin will have to deliver something for Robinson if power-sharing is to survive

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan says Sinn Féin has a particular responsibility to assist a solution.

British and Irish governments anxious to hear Robinson’s views on new proposals

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt (centre left) leaving a meeting on whether the party should withdraw from the North’s Executive.

Party’s ruling executive unanimously endorses Mike Nesbitt’s recommendation

Bad old days: IRA graffiti in Belfast in 2002. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Getty

Whether or not the terrorist organisation is back in action depends on whom you believe

Mike Nesbitt’s decision to pull a UUP Minister  out of the Executive exacerbated the sense of crisis. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

British and Irish governments must now establish if a total wreckage can be avoided

 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers will meet Government Ministers to determine if the collapse of the Stormont powersharing institutions can be prevented. File photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

DUP wants Sinn Féin out of Executive due to alleged IRA involvement in McGuigan killing

Peter Hain, who replaced Paul  Murphy as Northern secretary in 2005. Photograph: Tim Whitby/PA

Both politicians served in Northern Ireland at critical times of the peace process

DUP leader Peter Robinson (centre) will meet British prime minister David Cameron   (right) to try to avoid the collapse of the Stormont institutions. Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has repeated his party’s position that the IRA ‘has gone away’.

DUP not going to let Sinn Féin ‘off the hook’, Dodds says after Northern Secretary meeting

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt: The UUP chief’s move has exerted pressure on the DUP to follow suit. Photograph: PressEye

Garda chief Noírín O’Sullivan says force never denied existence of Provisional IRA

First Minister Peter Robinson won’t want to be seen to be dancing to the tune of Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

As Peter Robinson decides which way to jump, the name ‘Trimble’ is heard

The UUP leader is removing its Minister, Danny Kennedy from the Northern Executive because of its concerns over the Kevin McGuigan murder. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Charlie Flanagan ‘respects decision’ but says interests of NI best served by united approach

Michéal Martin: the Fianna Fáil leader called for urgent talks between the Irish and British governments.

He said her comments that IRA was still in existence “left an awful lot to be desired”

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams took a brief break from his holidays to effectively say the PSNI’s George Hamilton was talking nonsense. Then he resumed his summer vacation. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

McGuigan killing: Sinn Féin shrug off sharp criticism about IRA from PSNI, Government

Eleventh person arrested by PSNI investigating killing of Kevin McGuigan

Brian Stanley  TD said Sinn Féin welcome the IRA assessment. “We have no problem with that, we welcome that. It will show that the army was stood down 10 years ago, that it doesn’t exist.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Eleventh person arrested by PSNI investigating killing of Kevin McGuigan

 Gerry Adams: adamant that the IRA has “gone away”.   Photograph: Alan Betson

The DUP will bide its time but it may have hard decisions down the line

DUP MP  Jeffrey Donaldson. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

UUP threatens to withdraw from Executive over paramilitary link in McGuigan murder

 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers. Photograph: Rob Stothard/Getty Images

Northern Ireland Secretary responds to assessment following McGuigan murder

Frankie Boyle’s appearance is one of the headline shows of the festival.

Féile an Phobail faced protests because of comedian’s comments on Down syndrome

Gerry Adams at a press conference in Dublin on July 28th, 2005, responding to the IRA announcement that its armed campaign was over. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

SF leader critical of Cameron as 10th anniversary of end of armed campaign occurs

Constable Glen Mackin appealed for public assistance in tracing who shot the birds and pointed out that peregrine falcons are a protected species under the Wildlife (NI) Order.

The peregrines, a protected species, were found dead near Lurgan, Co Armagh

Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers flies to Washington today to update politicians and prominent Irish-Americans. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire.

Northern Secretary and Deputy First Minister go to Washington with different messages

 The peace wall on Bryson Street, Belfast. Photograph: David Sleator

New book argues both sides should take a risk and take them down

Martin McGuinness: wants the US administration to intervene. Photograph: Alan Betson

Deputy First Minister wants Washington to to help end stalemate threatening Stormont

British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers is said to show a “keen interest for necessity and proportionality” when authorising surveillance. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Applications for covert activity are key part of MI5’s battle against dissident republicans

Cadogan Enright (51), with his nine-year-old son, Cad Óg, who are hoping to paddle to almost 70 islands on Strangford Lough in order to count butterflies. Photograph: Butterfly Conservation/PA Wire

Father and son are spending summer island-hopping as part of Big Butterfly Count 2015

Stormont’s finance committee chairman Daithí McKay is interviewed about the sale of Nama’s Northern Ireland portfolio. Photograph:  Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Current and former DUP finance ministers asked to give evidence to Stormont body

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers. File photograph: David Young/PA Wire

Amnesty calls for Belfast boys’ home to be included in Westminster investigation

Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers made her comments against a backdrop of concern that a £600 million budget deficit that the Northern Executive is likely to face this autumn could lead to its suspension. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Northern Secretary appears to rule out London becoming directly involved in talks

Sinn Féin’s Daithí McKay: “Nama have a responsibility to come before the committee to answer questions and it is disappointing that Michael Noonan has so far not responded”

Scrutiny body wants Minister of Finance to exert pressure on Nama officials to give evidence about £1.3bn Cerberus deal

(Left - right) Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, former MP Michelle Gildernew, vice president Mary Lou McDonald and Deputy First Minister  Martin McGuinness outside the Palace of Westminster in London on Tuesday. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness say meeting with British prime minister ‘useful’

The Northern Assembly finance committee has criticised Nama for refusing to send its officials to give evidence. Photograph: The Irish Times

Finance committee anxious to avoid compromising criminal inquiry into Project Eagle

Ian Coulter:  former managing partner at Tughans law firm in Belfast

Assembly finance committee anxious not to jeopardise National Crime Agency investigation

Britain’s prime minister David Cameron has said the violence after the return “Twelfth” Orange Order parade in north Belfast, which resulted in a teenage girl being seriously injured and 25 PSNI officers also suffering injuries, was unacceptable. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

‘Twelfth’ violence damaging to Northern Ireland’s future, says British prime minister

A police officer is dragged away after being struck by an object thrown by Loyalist protesters, leaving his ear partially detached, at the Ardoyne roundabout, Belfast. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Teenager seriously injured, 25 police officers injured and 9 people arrested in north Belfast

Police officers and paramedics attend to a girl who was trapped underneath a car at Ardoyne in Belfast. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

One officer had ear severed by block, another could have lost finger when bitten at NI parade

Police line up in front of Loyalist protesters on the Crumlin Road in Belfast. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA.

First Minister of NI says it is vital that those involved in riots are ‘held accountable’

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