North Belfast: Sinn Féin candidate John Finucane and DUP contender Nigel Dodds have been deeply affected by the North’s Troubles. Photographs PA

DUP’s MP favourite to retain North Belfast seat held since 2001 and defeat SF candidate

Green Party leader in Northern Ireland Steven Agnew  said that after the negotiations are concluded it must remain possible for the UK to reverse its Brexit decision. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Option to remain in the EU must remain on table, says Northern Ireland leader Steven Agnew

A boy is in a critical condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast following a suspected hazardous waste incident at a bonfire site near the Shankill. Image: Google Street View

Police investigating if child came into contact with ‘drums containing unknown substances’

The Northern Ireland RHI system was flawed becaus there was no cap placed on usage of the boilers while grants were overgenerous.  File photograph: Getty

Companies and individuals received more than £62 million in Renewable Heat Incentive scheme

The scene at Manchester Royal Infirmary as the death toll from the Manchester bomb attack rose to 22 with 59 injured. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

‘Heartbreaking act of barbarism’: Northern Irish politicians condemn suicide bombing

In recent years dozens of birds such as buzzards, red kite and peregrines (above) have been killed in Northern Ireland.

Police take all crimes seriously including shooting, poisoning or trapping of wildlife

Sinn Fein’s Northern Ireland leader Michelle O’Neill with party leader Gerry Adams and Michelle Gildernew during the launch of the Sinn Fein 2017 Westminster Manifesto in Co Tyrone. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Sinn Féin announces manifesto that focuses on designated status for NI during Brexit

The PSNI is carrying out an investigation into the death of a 15-year-old girl in Co Armagh on Saturday. File photograph: Getty Images

The 15-year-old is believed to have died after an incident in Portadown woodland

In a reference to Sinn Féin Northern leader Michelle  O’Neill’s hair, a Church of Ireland rector said it was better that peroxide would be used for hair-colouring rather than bomb-making. Photograph: PA

Party calls for DUP and UUP to distance themselves from remarks about Michelle O’Neill

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood at the launch of his party’s Westminster  election campaign at the Newcastle Centre, in Co Down. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

SDLP leader says Northern electorate caught in a ‘toxic mix of anger and fatigue’

Northern Ireland’s  soon-to-depart director of public prosecutions Barra McGrory QC:  said dealing with the past will be a continuing “difficulty” for any DPP in Northern Ireland.   Photograph: Gerry Moriarty

Handling of cases such as Bloody Sunday, Stakeknife and Gary Haggarty awaits

Northern Ireland’s director of public prosecutions Barra McGrory QC.  Photo: Gerry Moriarty

Says decision not prompted by criticism of his prosecution of former British soldiers

Sinn Féin’s Máirtín Ó Muilleoir: The DUP spent three times more on a Brexit newspaper ad than they did on May’s Assembly election. Photograph: PA

Party received £425,000 to support Leave side in British EU referendum

“The investigation is at an early stage and we are working to establish how old the items are and whether this find is linked to historic terrorist activity,” PSNI Insp Leslie Badger said.

PSNI suspect devices and gun parts date to Troubles

 Former SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie: the political landscape in South Down is much changed since  the 2015 Westminster  election – Sinn Féin made considerable gains in the constituency in March’s Assembly election. Photograph: Eric Luke

UK elections present opportunity for Sinn Féin as Margaret Ritchie looks to unionists

Constable Ronan Kerr died in an under-car bomb explosion in Omagh, Co Tyrone in 2011. Photograph: PSNI/PA Wire

PSNI officer was killed in dissident republican under-car bomb explosion in 2011

Arlene Foster’s comment about Michelle O’Neill’s hair colour was in essence all part of the interminable orange and green squabble. Photograph: Getty

Is Arlene Foster right that unionism has awoken from its electoral slumber?

A search operation in recent days in a forest in France for the body of Seamus Ruddy, one of Northern Ireland’s Disappeared. Photograph: Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains/PA Wire

He will be buried with his parents in Newry – his name already on the family headstone

Prince Charles  laughs as he refuses the offer of a large ice cream cone in front of a group of photographers in Dromore, Co Down. Photograph: Getty

Royal couple visit PSNI memorial garden in east Belfast and Dromore in Co Down

Britain’s Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall arrive at Hillsborough Castle on Wednesday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Royals set to cross Border for dinner with President Higgins and Sabina

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy, Co Derry, on Tuesday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Royal couple will go to Glasnevin to remember those who died in Rising and war

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood: “The SDLP has no intention of facilitating abstentionist MPs who won’t take the fight to the Tories on Brexit”

Sinn Féin calls for ‘clear run’ in North Belfast and Fermanagh-South Tyrone

DUP leader Arlene Foster at the launch of  the party’s general election campaign  in east Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Democratic Unionist Party leader launches party’s Westminster election campaign

The house destroyed by fire at Kiltimagh, Co Mayo. The blaze caught hold on Friday afternoon last after flaming embers carried on the wind from roadside trees landed on the roof.  Photograph: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

‘I phoned for extra fire brigade units after roadside trees exploded into flames’

Séamus Ruddy’s sisters:  (left to right) Molly Carr, Patsy McAteer and Anne Morgan. Photograph: PA

Victim’s sister urges people with information on three Disappeared to come forward

Michelle O’Neill and Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Ahead of Westminster elections, Michelle O’Neill says Irish unity ‘firmly on the agenda’

Campbell College headmaster said six students were recently suspended  due to two isolated incidents involving cannabis. Image via Campbell College website

Headmaster of fee-paying school in Northsays teens now ‘exposed to a multiple of evils’

Coastguard crew rescuing Matthew Bryce. Photograph: PA

Mathew Bryce had ‘made himself at peace’ before his rescue

British army captain Robert Nairac: One of the Disappeared, his body was never recovered.

Claims are ‘key reasons’ ex-IRA members refusing to assist locate captain’s remains

John Finucane with his mother, Geraldine Finucane, Katherine Finucane and Michael Finucane: John Finucane has been nominated to compete against outgoing DUP MP Nigel Dodds. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Candidate was 11 when his father was murdered by UDA

Caoimhín Hynes from Belfast’s Holy Trinity club in hospital after being attacked on a night out. Photograph: Eoaghan Junior/Facebook

Police appeal for information after 20-year-old suffers facial injuries on night out

Matthew Bryce’s surfboard, which his rescuers managed to retrieve

Matthew Bryce ‘cannot thank those enough who rescued and cared for me. They are all heroes’

Séamus Ruddy (33), a former member of  the Irish Republican Socialist Party, was  killed in a dispute  understood to have been related to INLA arms smuggling.

INLA said it murdered Séamus Ruddy and buried him in a forest near Rouen

Tom Elliott: in 2015 when the DUP also stood aside, Mr Elliott took the seat from Michelle Gildernew by just over 500 votes. Photograph:  Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Scene set for big rerun contest between Tom Elliott and Michelle Gildernew

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood (second right) said he was “open to any discussion on how we can protect the Remain vote in Northern Ireland”. Photograph: Deborah McAleese/PA Wire

Northern Ireland parties discuss electoral pacts as mindsets shift to campaign mode

A voter stands at a booth inside a polling station as she prepares to cast her vote in Belfast during the last UK general election – on May 7th, 2015. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Another election? Why, how will it affect Assembly talks, who is likely to win, and . . . why

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds at Stormont Castle: all parties will insist they are ready and fired up for this latest challenge. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Still trying to get Stormont up and running, this surprise vote gives parties a lot to play for

Martin McGuinness’s headstone in Derry City Cemetery. Photograph: Liam McBurney/Razorpix

Unionist politicians claim republican’s grave shows he remained a paramilitary member

The PSNI is seeking witnesses to come forward.

PSNI treating assaults, which resulted in possible facial fractures, as ‘hate crime’

British veterans of the Troubles hold flags as they protest at the city hall in Belfast. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrations by supporters and dissident republicans in Belfast pass off peacefully

Irish language protesters outside the Education Authority on Academy Street in Belfast. “We are not asking for everybody to speak Irish. The language is there for all who want it.” Photograph:    Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Campbell’s lampooning of Irish and Foster’s refusal of a language Act galvanised nationalists

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire has extended the period for negotiations at Stormont. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Northern Secretary pauses Stormont talks until after Easter as parties remain deadlocked

Northern Ireland secretary James Brokenshire: has set Friday as deadline for an agreement to prevent Northern Ireland slipping back to direct rule. Photograph: David Young/PA

Bad manners and mutual disrespect must disappear if accord in North to be struck

 Joe Lynskey, a former monk, who went missing from west Belfast in August 1972 and was executed and secretly buried by the IRA. Photograph: Wave Trauma Centre/PA Wire

Catholic primate Eamon Martin says ‘trustworthy’ people could be told of location

Margaret McGuckin: “There was no love there at all, no Christian attitudes, none whatsoever.” Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

“I don’t accept their apology and I never will,” says victim of Brendan Smyth

Keith Baker (61) who was sentenced to 15 years in jail for the abuse of a now 53-year-old woman with severe learning difficulties over an eight-year period

Appeal would test if terms for rape and physical abuse of vulnerable woman are too lenient

PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke: “In all my years as a police officer I struggle to think of more depraved and cruel behaviour.” Photograph: David Young/PA

Victim, now 53, was held prisoner in Co Armagh house for eight years

The PSNI is investigating the death of four men and a 16-year-old girl. Photograph: Paul Faith

Police report increase in drugs fatalities in Northern Ireland

A room in the home of Keith and Caroline Baker. Photograph: PA/PSNI

‘House of Horrors’ case hears woman was held in cold, locked room without carpet, light, bedclothes or curtains

The DUP leader Arlene Foster said the talks aimed at restoring the Northern Executive and Assembly were “more structured”. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Five main party leaders finally hold roundtable session of negotiations

Freddie Scappaticci pictured in west Belfast in 2003

Officer heading inquiry appeals for public witnesses to come forward

Chris Patten: his report said the RUC should not be disbanded but should be renamed. It proposed a new badge, and that the British union flag should no longer be flown over police buildings

Against fierce opposition, Patten commission brought about radical reforms

John MacVicar, editor of the Shankill Extra. “[Brexit] was a decision taken by the United Kingdom. You are either a democrat or you are not a democrat.” Photograph:  Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

‘Leave’ still dominant with immigration a key issue in a unionist heartland

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster: dilemma for her and her colleagues is how to make concessions to Sinn Féin without having their faces rubbed in the muck. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

Northern Ireland stalemate partly product of too short a time frame to find a solution

Northern Secretary James Brokenshire said he was extremely disappointed that there was no agreement to reinstate Stormont. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Civil Service will take care of Stormont business until deal made, says Northern secretary

Sinn Féin’s leader at Stormont, Michelle O’Neill, announces that the talks process aimed at restoring devolution in Northern Ireland has ‘run its course’, in Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

North’s parties are set to miss the deadline for restoring powersharing institutions

The Stormont Estate in Belfast. File photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

The North’s parties are holding new talks aimed at restoring power sharing

A prison officer with a working dog at the recreation area in front of Erne House in Maghaberry Prison. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tensions in the Northern Irish jail are high despite paramilitaries being in the minority

Former US president Bill Clinton speaks during the funeral of Martin McGuinness at St Columba’s Church, Long Tower in Derry, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Niall Carson/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Former US president tells politicians ‘to celebrate his life . . . you have to finish his work’

Gerry Adams carries the coffin during the funeral procession of Northern Ireland’s former deputy first minister and ex-IRA commander Martin McGuinness, ahead of his funeral at St Columba’s Church Long Tower, in Derry. Photograph: Thomas McMullan/PA Wire

Sinn Féin president urges ‘respect for all’ in oration at former minister’s funeral

DUP leader and former first minister Arlene Foster signing a book of condolence for Martin McGuinness in Parliament Buildings, Stormont. Photograph:  Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Thousands expected in Derry for farewell to former deputy first minister

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl:  has significant discretion to make decisions about flags. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Seán Ó Fearghaíl following protocol in honouring Martin McGuinness

DUP leader Arlene Foster signs a book of condolences for Martin McGuinness at Stormont in Belfast. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Former DUP first minister Arlene Foster says: ‘I doubt we will ever see his like again’

Martin McGuinness  in Derry in 1985

Ian Paisley’s widow sets right tone at time when further reconciliation is needed

The remains of Martin McGuinness are carried by friends, colleagues and relatives through the streets of the Bogside in Derry. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Tributes from across world paid to former IRA leader and subsequent peacemaker

A woman leaves flowers at the gates of the Sinn Féin office at Connolly House, in Andersonstown, Belfast following the death of Martin McGuinness. Photograph: PA

Reaction: Rev Latimer says life is about the man you become and McGuinness ‘finished well’

Roise Morgan holds an image of Martin McGuinness during a vigil in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Thousands accompany the republican’s coffin as it is carried to his Derry home

Billy Hutchinson in December 2012:   “With nationalism, it’s a bit like St Augustine: wrap the green flag around me, but not just yet. It won’t happen in my lifetime.” Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty Images

Key figures from both sides of the peace line have their say on the notion of Irish unity

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan and Northern Secretary James Brokenshire. They held a further round of talks in Stormont on Thursday

‘Cash-for-ash’ inquiry will take longer than six months to complete

Dr Eamon Martin: “A culture of blame will only trap us in an endless cycle of instability and insecurity,” he said in a joint statement with other church leaders.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Charlie Flanagan and James Brokenshire continue talks with Northern Ireland parties

DUP leader Arlene Foster at the count centre in Omagh, Co Tyrone, on Friday. The DUP’s seat tally dropped from 38 to 28 in the Assembly election, while Sinn Féin won 27. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Gerry Adams insists DUP leader step aside pending ‘cash for ash’ inquiry outcome

In the 90-member new Assembly there are 40 unionists (DUP, Ulster Unionists, Traditional Unionist Voice and independent unionist) and 39 nationalists (Sinn Féin and the SDLP). It is a long way from the 1921 election in the North, when Unionists also claimed 40 seats. That, however, was a 52-seat assembly.

Who really believed Sinn Féin would come within a whisker of equalling the DUP?

Sinn Féin party president Gerry Adams waves to the media as he walks with Sinn Féin’s Northern leader Michelle O’Neill on the Falls road in front of a mural of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands in Belfast. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

‘Notion of a permanent or perpetual unionist majority has been demolished’, says Adams

Stormont is seen through low cloud in Belfast. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Northern Secretary James Brokenshire could introduce legislation to allow for period of negotiations

 Sinn Féin NI leader Michelle O’Neill,  Orlaithi Flynn, deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and president Gerry Adams  at  count centre in Belfast. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt announces he is to resign after poor results

Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill after winning her seat in Mid-Ulster. This election will encourage Sinn Féin to make a greater push for a Border poll and lead to more talk of a united Ireland. Photograph: Paul McErlane/AFP

Analysis: Foster under pressure as DUP lead closes while high turnout fails to aid centrists

Michelle O’Neill, leader of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland, celebrates winning her seat at the Seven Towers Leisure Centre, Ballymena. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Analysis: High turnout suggests people invigorated over issues such as cash-for-ash

DUP leader Arlene Foster arriving at Brookeborough primary school in Co Fermanagh to cast her vote. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Election results will show whether the ‘cash for ash’ controversy has damaged DUP

A dog waits outside as a voter goes into a polling station in Belfast South. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

South Belfast was only constituency last May to elect four women to Stormont

DUP leader Arlene Foster arrives at Brookeborough primary school in Co Fermanagh. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

People uncertain if they are voting for resumption of Executive or British direct rule

DUP leader Arlene Foster  campaigning near Cookstown on  Wednesday. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

Impact of RHI to be discovered while electorate unsure if they face return to direct rule

Polling station manager Teresa McCurdy carries a ballot box, ahead of the Northern Ireland Assembly elections, as she delivers it by ferry to the single polling station on the island of Rathlin off the North coast. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Smaller constituencies and ‘cash for ash’ scandal will affect Assembly poll outcome

Former DUP first minister Peter Robinson has broken his political silence to accuse the ‘more belligerent elements in Sinn Féin’ of precipitating an unnecessary Northern Assembly election. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Former DUP leader criticises Sinn Féin’s ‘belligerent elements’ over North vote

Colum Eastwood: The SDLP leader outside Belfast City Hall launching a poster campaign ahead of this week’s elections. Photograph: Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Party chief Colm Eastwood: ‘Attitude-changing election’ will sway disillusioned

Leaders of political parties in Northern Ireland: Colum Eastwood of the SDLP, Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Féin, Arlene Foster of the DUP, Mike Nesbitt of the UUP and Naomi Long of the Alliance Party. Photograph: Reuters

Discussion gives voters food for thought ahead of Wednesday's election

DUP leader Arlene Foster: “I am not going to apologise for the fact there’s a huge threat to Northern Ireland.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Northern party leaders make late pitches for support ahead of election on Thursday

Sinn Féin’s leader in North Michelle O’Neill: “My job and the job of political leadership is to try to heal all those wounds of the past, to try and build the bridges, to try to bring us into the modern era.” Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

SF leader claims ‘no one in their right mind’ would support Arlene Foster as things stand

 SDLP leader Colum Eastwood at  the publication of his party’s manifesto on Wednesday: “At the very moment when we most needed stability and certainty, our own government has collapsed”, he said. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Party leader Colum Eastwood outlines ‘partnership and progress’ manifesto

 Alliance Party leader Naomi Long: the Northern Assembly election on March 2nd offers an opportunity “to end the Green and Orange politics for good”. Photograph: Alliance Party/PA Wire

Naomi Long calls for audit on cost of division in North across education and public services

Jim Allister, the leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice. He has been effective in forensically exposing the flaws at the heart of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme

Allister and Swann hoping unionist anger at RHI will badly damage DUP

DUP leader Arlene Foster at the launch of the party’s manifesto in a Belfast hotel on Monday. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

DUP leader sets out at launch of manifesto 10 principles to govern post-election talks

Oliver McMulllan of Sinn Féin:  different brands of unionists  want to uproot him. Photograph: Facebook

Proven survivor will need SDLP transfers to win in predominantly unionist constituency

Sinn Féin’s leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill takes part in a vigil on Friday for four IRA members killed by the SAS in February 1992. Photograph: Getty

Jim Allister predicts Republic may follow United Kingdom out of the European Union

Party leaders Mike Nesbitt,  Michelle O’Neill,  Arlene Foster,  Naomi Long and  Colum Eastwood at the UTV studios  in Belfast for Thursday’s debate.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘Cash for ash’ and influence of Gerry Adams figure strongly in five-way UTV programme

Gerry Kelly MLA: topped the poll for Sinn Féin in North Belfast  last year. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Close contest likely as six outgoing MLAs fight for reduced number of five seats

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt: “What I am trying to achieve is a stretch for some people; it’s not going to be easy.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Ulster Unionist leader will cast second preference vote for SDLP’s Seamus de Faoite

Sinn Féin leader Michelle O’Neill launches the Sinn Féin campaign for the 2017 Assembly election, in Armagh. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Michelle O’Neill addresses launch of Sinn Féin’s Northern Assembly election manifesto

Last May, when this was a six-seater constituency rather than the five-seater it is now, the DUP won three seats, Alliance two and the Ulster Unionist Party one

Alliance has established a strong foothold and is in good position to hold its two seats

Armagh chefs Sean Farnan and  Gareth Reid. Photograph: Jonathan King

Ten Northern Ireland chefs come together to transform city

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