Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers: talks at a “crunch point”. Photograph: Arthur Allison

NI Secretary Theresa Villiers reticent on whether Downing Street likely to accept plan

Minister of Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has said that “substantial progress” was made in Northern Ireland talks over the last 24 hours. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Talks at ‘crunch time’, says Villiers, who refuses to predict if Downing Street will accept paper

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with (from left) Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan, Seán Sherlock Minister of State at Department of Foreign Affairs and Tánaiste Joan Burton  at Stormont House, Belfast, ahead of the talks. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Discussions to continue in hopes of pre-Christmas deal

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said substantial progress must be made in the talks this week. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

SDLP says chances of a deal at Stormont ‘no better than 40 per cent’

Marcel Kittel crossing the line in front of Government Buildings in Dublin, to win stage three of the Giro d’Italia on May 11th 2014. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Gran Fondo expected to attract up to 4,000 amateur cyclists in 2015

Northern Ireland’s First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson is flanked by party members after the talks in Stormont where a dose of austerity medicine was all that was on offer. Photograph by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

British prime minister did not wait to labour point about necessary welfare change

Northern Ireland First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson (centre) flanked by party members at Stormont. There is big  doubt over whether a pre-Christmas deal is achievable. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Northern Ireland talks: PM and Gerry Adams in verbal spat before leaders left Belfast

Members of the  Sinn Féin delegation speak to the media after British prime minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny departed from  talks on Friday  at Stormont House in Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Enda Kenny and David Cameron meet parties for 45 minutes before sudden exit

Enda  Kenny and David Cameron unexpectedly exited the Northern Ireland talks which appear to have collapsed due to a row over funding. Photograph: Getty

Row centres on £1bn offered if deal agreed, with NI parties saying fund is too small

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