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’

Police attend to an injured girl, after rolling the car off her, which had driven into a crowd of people outside Ardoyne in north Belfast. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Girl hit by car while one officer needed 12 stitches for bite wound in violent protests

Loyalists break through a police barrier as they are prevented from progressing on the return journey towards the controversial Ardoyne flashpoint the Twelfth of July parade on July 13, 2015 in Belfast. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Orangemen prevented from parading past flashpoint Ardoyne shops in north Belfast

Orange Order marchers are reflected in a puddle during  parade  in Belfast on Monday marking the Twelfth of July celebrations which  commemorate the victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images.

Orange Order grand master says parades an ‘unrivalled show of community solidarity’

Police and the loyal orders have said they hope the annual Twelfth of July celebrations pass off peacefully on Monday. Thousands are expected to take part in more than 800 parades with many more expected to watch the spectacle. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images.

Thousands taking part in parades marking Battle of Boyne victory

An “Eleventh Night” bonfire on Chobham Street in east Belfast, where firefighters had to spray down nearby houses with water to stop them catching fire. Photograph: Justin Kernoghan/ photopressbelfast.co.uk

Orange Order says unionist culture is being ‘trampled on’ and ‘demonised’

A major bonfire burning on Saturday night, right beside terraced houses at Chobham Street, east Belfast. A large section of the pallets in the fire collapsed as they burned. Photograph:  Justin Kernoghan/Alan Lewis/PhotopressBelfast.co.uk

Tricolours and election posters of Sinn Féin, SDLP and Alliance politicians placed on pyre

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said that no one in his family or his party sought to benefit by “one penny” from the purchase of Nama’s Northern Ireland 850-property portfolio.

DUP leader says there was no ‘vulgar’ talk of fees at meetings involving Ministers on deal

Solid brief: Independent TD Mick Wallace told the Dáil  £7 million had been lodged in an Isle of Man account “reportedly earmarked for a Northern Ireland politician or party”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Everyone is on the hunt for the secret of the £7m found resting in an Isle of Man account after Nama’s sale of its Northern porfol(...)

The huge loyalist “Eleventh Night” bonfire that is threatening homes in Chobham Street in east Belfast.

PSNI will have 1,500 officers policing main and feeder parades in Belfast

Veteran Ulster Defence Association (UDA) chief Colin “Bap” Lindsay, 47, was hacked to death in a brutal attack in the living room of his own house in Belfast’s Belvoir estate.

Albert Armstrong is charged with the murder of UDA chief Colin ‘Bap’ Lindsay

 Nama chairman Frank Daly: told the Dáil Public Accounts Committee he would not give evidence to the Stormont inquiry.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Nama chairman Frank Daly criticised for refusing to appear before Stormont

The PSNI does not believe the attack was motivated by loyalist infighting or that there was paramilitary involvement

Police take unusual step of naming suspect

Gareth Robinson, son of First Minister Peter Robinson, told the Irish News that no representatives of his PR company has ‘facilitated or were in any way involved in the sale of Nama assets to Cerberus’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Nama officials to appear before Public Accounts Committee

First Minister Peter Robinson. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

US investment house insists meeting was ‘official’ but Sinn Féin say failure to get McGuinness authorisation means this cannot be (...)

The PSNI is launching a “criminal inquiry” into the allegations by Mick Wallace that a Northern Ireland politician or party may have been in line to benefit by up to £7 million as a result of a major Nama sale.

Confusion surrounds the status of a meeting between Cerberus and Peter Robinson

Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy: “This budget will usher in billions of further cuts targeted against the most vulnerable in society.”

Budget ‘first shot in class war’ against poor, says SDLP deputy leader Dolores Kelly

The list of people and businesses the Northern Assembly finance committee wants to hear evidence from about Mick Wallace’s Nama allegations provides its own narrative about this complex case.

Controversy ‘kicked off’ last week with allegations laid by Independent TD Mick Wallace

North’s Police Ombudsman finds PSNI was not influenced by political considerations

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

Mick Wallace alleges NI politician or party may have been set to benefit £7 million from sale

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

‘There are questions that need to be answered and they need to be answered quickly,’ says committee chairman

 Mick Wallace. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Allegations to be discussed by emergency meeting of Assembly finance committee

Crowds gather for Belfast’s Tall Ships festival. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Thousands are visiting the city in upbeat mood to celebrate its maritime festival

The DUP First Minister Peter Robinson has told Sinn Féin that if it hasn’t got the “guts to govern” it should stand aside from the Northern Executive. Photograph: PA.

Amid welfare reform row First Minister says SF should step aside if it can’t govern tough

Photograph from February 2008 of Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Man who lost wife says he has ‘no objections’ while another says he is ‘angry and bitter’

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan who attended the battle of the Somme anniversary in Belfast on Wednesday. Photograph: Collins

Government will formally remember those killed in battle at State Ceremony next year

 DUP Minister for Finance Arlene Foster. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Assembly adopts DUP Minister for Finance’s ‘fantasy’ budget despite massive shortfall

Part of a  processing plant at Carrickedmund near the Louth /Armagh border where customs officers uncovered a diesal laundering operation. Photograph: Tom Conachy

New diesel marker could be a ‘game changer in fight against organised crime’

John Finucane, son of Pat Finucane speaking with media outside Belfast’s High Court. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Court rules British prime minister had not acted unlawfully in refusing to hold a public inquiry

Geraldine Finucane (right), the widow of murdered Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane. Photograph: Andrew Winning/Reuters

Court rules British prime minister had not acted unlawfully in refusing to hold a public inquiry

Victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth are to sue An Garda Siochána over its failure to take action when they were allegedly notified in the 1970s that Smyth was a child sex abuser. Photograph: Alan Betson

Evidence to Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry has prompted legal proceedings

Cardinal Seán Brady told the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry the scandal of Brendan Smyth’s paedophilia was “kept a secret – very, very secret”. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Cardinal admits ‘shroud of secrecy’ applied to paedophile priest’s actions

The inquiry is looking at  how the Catholic Church and Norbertine Order failed the children abused by Brendan Smyth.

Paedophile priest wrote to late Cardinal Daly from Derry prison, inquiry told

File photograph of former abbot of the Norbertine Order and Brendan Smyth’s superior, Kevin Smith, who told police he did not realise at the time that paedophilia was a crime.

Evidence given by former Norbertines head concerning priest challenged at inquiry

Paedophile priest Brendan Smyth wrote to the late Cardinal Cahal Daly from prison to deny that his sexual abuse of boys and girls had caused serious damage to the Catholic Church. Photograph: Pacemaker

Paedophile priest wrote to late Cardinal Daly from Derry prison, inquiry told

Brendan Smyth: told doctor after his arrest he may have abused 50-100 children, and that ‘number could even be double or perhaps even more’. Photograph: Pacemaker

Norbertine priest had serious concerns about Smyth’s proclivities before he was ordained

Retired Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Sean Brady, who as far back as 1975 heard allegations of sexual abuse against the late  Fr Brendan Smyth, is to give evidence at the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down on Thursday. File photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Ex-primate acknowledges culture of ‘secrecy and silence’ over clerical child sex abuse

Sinn Fein party colleagues Michelle O’Neill, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Conor Murphy announce that Sinn Féin will back Stormont’s so-called ‘fantasy budget’ in an attempt to buy time to find a solution on welfare. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

Martin McGuinness says decision ‘creates space’ to find resolution to welfare impasse

Failings that allowed notorious paedophile priest Brendan Smyth (above) to abuse children for four decades will be examined by a public inquiry on Monday

Inquiry in North hears notorious paedophile priest abused children for decades

 DUP Minister for Finance Arlene Foster has been  given permission to accelerate the passage of the budget Bill through the Northern Assembly so that it could become law by the end of July. File photograph: Lesley-Anne McKeown /PA Wire

NI budget will be predicated on welfare reform going ahead, says Arlene Foster

Nicola Russell who passed away at the Marie Curie hospice in Belfast on Monday after living with cancer since 2007. Photograph: William Cherry/Pacemaker

Artist also specialised in portraits including subjects such as Bill Clinton and Mo Mowlam

Two men were found dead in a house in St Patrick’s Terrace in Lisnaskea, Fermanagh. Police are waiting on the results of a post mortem to try to determine how the men died

Police waiting results of post mortem to determine cause of deaths

 Sarah Ewart arrives at court as a judicial review into Northern Ireland’s abortion laws  begins  in the High Court in Belfast. Photograph:  Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Ireland, San Marino, Malta and Andorra only European countries that prohibit abortion in these circumstances

Former Northern Ireland police ombudsman Baroness Nuala O’Loan: claims that ‘hundreds and hundreds’ of deaths happened in the North as a result of security force collusion. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Evidence is ‘overwhelming’, says human rights group after ‘Prime Time’ documentary

Sarah Ewart had to travel to England to have an abortion in 2013 after being told her unborn baby had no chance of survival. Photograph: Lesley-Anne McKeown/PA Wire

Woman who travelled to end pregnancy because of fatal abnormality joins legal action

No blank cheque from UK government, says shadow Northern Secretary Ivan Lewis

Paula  and Claire McCartney, sisters of  Robert McCartney, who together with their three other sisters were to have been key witnesses in the case against two senior republicans charged with IRA membership. Photograph: REUTERS/Paul McErlane

Reporting restriction on naming the sisters lifted by Belfast Crown Court

Northern Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecutions Barra McGrory:   accepts the criticisms in report by Sir Keir Starmer

Barra McGrory rejects suggestions that public has lost confidence in North’s Public Prosecution Service

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinnes: “Her death, like the death of all victims of the conflict, was an absolute tragedy”. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Caroline Moreland shot dead shortly before August 1994 ceasefire

Organisation said it exploited lax security to make ‘symbolic gesture’

Gerry Adams: “I have committed no offence.” Photograph: Eric Luke.

Tests to justify prosecution of SF leader in relation to abuse by Liam Adams not met

Were it clear that Aine Adams had in 1987 alleged rape rather than the less specific term of sexual abuse, then under law Gerry Adams would have been obliged to report that information to the police. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Decision linked to sex abuse of SF chief’s niece centres on meeting in Buncrana in 1987

The North’s Public Prosecution Service was correct to conclude that Gerry Adams should not be prosecuted for withholding information about the sexual abuse of his niece Aine Adams, a report by the Northern Ireland Attorney General John Larkin, QC, has concluded. Photograph: Alan Betson

Report found Adams should not be prosecuted for withholding information about niece

 DUP finance minister Arlene Foster. Ms Foster is to press ahead with a ‘fantasy budget’ in the North despite the refusal of Sinn Féin and the SDLP to sign up to its welfare reform element. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin and SDLP still refuse to sign up to welfare reform element of fiscal plan

Youth believed to have taken his own life after he was tricked into posting images online

Ivor Bell, leaving Belfast Laganside Court, where he faced counts of aiding and abetting the killing of Jean McConville and of IRA membership. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Veteran republican Ivor Bell has been charged in connection with murder

Belfast artist Colin Davidson. Silent Testimony, a new  exhibition by the artist  exploring the theme of suffering and loss in the Troubles, opens today. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Press Eye

Colin Davidson’s Silent Testimony exhibition explores themes of loss and suffering

New IIEA book examines possible future relationships between UK and the EU

The Tricolour and another unsanctioned flag flying over Parliament Buildings at Stormont. Photograph: Winston Irvine/PUP/PA Wire

DUP member Peter Weir writes to authorities demanding to know how flag was erected

The Beatles play live in the King’s Hall in south Belfast in November 1964. From left to right are Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. File photograph: Nick Newbery/PRONI

Shots taken in King’s Hall in November 1964 by photographer who didn’t even like band

Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers: “The situation looks increasingly grim. No resolution was found at this afternoon’s meeting and time is running out.” Photograph: David Young/PA

Robinson wants to push through budget to test if Sinn Féin will sign up to welfare reform

DUP leader Peter Robinson speaking during a press conference outside Stormont Castle on Tuesday.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

DUP leader said he would cut back on work but was back at Stormont Castle in morning

Orange Order: a new film, Strong to Survive, casts light on families bereaved during the Troubles. Photograph: Russell Cheyne

Movie describes the fear many Protestant families endured over decades of conflict

Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers. Ms Villiers and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan are to attempt to break the stalemate that threatens the Northern 	Executive. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

DUP and Sinn Féin still at loggerheads in over planned welfare reform in the North

Darren Fichardt of South Africa hits his 2nd shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. “As much as they are loving coming here they are not exactly loving the conditions,” said Pádraig Harrington. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

For McIlroy, it was ‘Hamlet’ without the Prince; for the international golfers at Royal County Down, it was ‘blow, winds, and crac(...)

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson at the Irish Open, at Royal County Down golf club, on Saturday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

First Minister blames illness on diet and lack of exercise

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