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

DUP representatives (left to right) Jonathan Bell, Jeffrey Donaldson and Mervyn Storey speaking to the media at Stormont House in Belfast on Thursday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Parties appear prepared to agree to slimmed-down Executive

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British prime minister David Cameron have kicked off  ‘crunch’ negotiations aimed at preventing the collapse of the Northern Executive and Assembly. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Theresa Villiers says ‘no big cheque’ available to resolve budgetary problems

British Prime Minister David Cameron: will hold out the carrot of the Northern Executive having corporation tax-setting powers if a deal is done. Photograph: EPA

Sinn Féin warns failure to agree pact will trigger ‘crash’ of powersharing institutions

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