The  DUP’s Jim Wells, who has apologised for controversial remarks he made about gay marriage and child abuse. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Calls for resignation of Health Minister Jim Wells despite apology but party stands by him

Michelle Gildernew: after the courts examined the 2010 result her margin of victory over agreed unionist candidate Rodney Connor was reduced to a single vote. Photograph: Justin Kernoghan

If there are more unionists on the register this could again be very close

The death has occurred of Desmond Boal, QC, who with his former friend, Ian Paisley established the Democratic Unionist Party in 1971

Along with Ian Paisley, the lawyer was a founding member of the DUP

Sinn Féin candidate for Newry and Armagh Mickey Brady: Says this is a “two horse race” between him and the UUP’s Danny Kennedy. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

From Daniel Craig to ‘catholic tastes’, a profile of the Newry and Armagh candidates

Sammy Wilson: Genial if also mischievous incumbent is favourite to secure the seat with a healthy majority. Photograph: The Irish Times

Outgoing Eurosceptic MP and DUP man can afford to enjoy campaign more than rivals

Northern Ireland First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson speaks at the launch of the Democratic Unionist Party Election Manifesto at Wrightbus, supplier of the London Routemaster buses on April 21, 2015 in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

First Minister confident that DUP will regain East Belfast seat he lost to Naomi Long

Sinn Féin party leader Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness during the launch of the party’s General Election manifesto in Dungannon, CoTyrone on Monday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Adams says that if issue goes to referendum in Britain, North should have separate vote

Durkan (54), who is in his third Westminster election campaign, having also served as deputy first minister, blames the DUP and Sinn Féin for the latest logjam. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/GettyImages

John Hume’s successor knows too well how Northern Ireland’s political rivalries work

Jeffrey Donaldson: Out every day canvassing the streets of Lisburn and towns and villages of his constituency. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Lagan Valley MP enjoys 10,000 majority but constituency to be contested by eight rivals

Margaret Ritchie:  Unionist support and determination to retain South Down should ensure she is returned. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

History suggests that several thousand unionist votes are likely to be cast for Ritchie

SDLP Leader Alasdair McDonnell. File photograph: PA

Party rules out supporting Cameron in government

After years of being beaten by John Hume, Gregory Campbell knows it pays to stick with it. Photograph: Eric Luke

DUP candidate for East Derry knows the benefits of publicity

Queen’s University Belfast is to cut its student intake by more than 1,000 and shed 236 jobs because of an £8 million reduction in its Stormont funding

236 academic and non-academic jobs to go because of budget cuts

Sinn Féin candidate for West Belfast Paul Maskey says dissidents have received a powerful message from his constituents. Photograph:  Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Successor to Gerry Adams in West Belfast insists he also works for loyalists from the Shankill

Lady Sylvia Hermon: her  vote in the House of Commons, if she is re-elected, could yield a high price on the electoral market place. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker

Peter Robinson believes someone should try to take on Sylvia Hermon

A young man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of a man was found in the boot of a car in south Belfast.

Two arrested on suspicion of murder

DUP leader Peter Robinson has agreed a pact agreed  Mike Nesbitt, which will see the UUP  stand aside in East Belfast and North Belfast. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Sinn Féin, SDLP and Alliance are the only parties that are contesting all constituencies

Has Michelle Gildernew secured Fermanagh-South Tyrone for Sinn Féin or could DUP-Ulster Unionist Party pact allow Tom Elliott to win it for UUP?

Naomi Long, Michelle Gildernew, Alasdair McDonnell face tough contests while Gerry Adams, Gregory Campbell, Ian Paisley Junior loo(...)

British prime minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha look at weapons during their visit to the ‘Game of Thrones’ television set in Belfast on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters/Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool

Westminster general election campaign cranks into gear in Northern Ireland

Air accident investigators are trying to determine the cause of an incident that left a pilot dead after a light plane crashed at Newtownards airfield in Co Down on Tuesday morning. Photograph: Justin Kernoghan/Photopress Belfast.

Microlight craft crashes shortly after takeoff at Newtownards airfield near Belfast

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron smiles as he eats breakfast during a visit to financial firm Scottish Widows in Edinburgh, Scotland on April 7th, 2015. Photograph: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP/Getty Images

Says message is ‘there is one month to save the UK’ from Labour’s tax policy

Sinn Féin’s Arder Carson: Elected as the first Lord Mayor of Northern Ireland’s newest and biggest council

North’s 11 authorities formed in biggest local government shake-up in more than 40 years

MP Naomi Long is under considerable pressure to hold on to her seat in this election as the Ulster Unionist Party, in an electoral pact, has agreed not to stand in the constituency, giving the advantage to the DUP candidate Gavin Robinson. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Flags are not now an issue on the doorsteps, says MP Naomi Long

Contract law is ‘at the heart’ of the so-called ‘gay cake’ case, a lawyer acting for the Equality Commission and Gareth Lee in the action against Ashers Baking Company has contended. Photograph: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

Contract law ‘at heart’ of case where bakery refused to make cake with message ‘Support Gay Marriage’

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has pledged to renew pressure on the British government to agree to an inquiry into the August 1971 Ballymurphy killings which resulted in 11 killings. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Taoiseach meets families of 11 people who were shot by British soldiers in 1971

Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers Bakery arrive at Belfast County Court. Photograph: Stephen Kilkenny/PA Wire

Ashers Bakery says state obliged to protect people in cases of conscientious objection

Seán Lavery, tax partner at BDO; Adrian Doran, head of corporate banking at Barclays Northern Ireland; Colin Walsh chairman of  CBI Northern Ireland; Taoiseach Enda Kenny; and director general of the CBI John Cridland. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

UK exit from Europe would be ‘most profound issue’ for the North, says Kenny

Daniel McArthur (second right) of Asher’s Bakery and his wife Amy McArthur (right) along with family members leave court. Photograph: Getty

Cake with motto ‘Support Gay Marriage’ was against bakery’s ethos, court told

Gary Hart has said “you can’t attract 12 or 15 or 24 executive vice presidents of fairly substantial corporations to come over here for three or four days if there is confusion or lack of resolution on budgetary issues”. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Retired senator believes Robinson and McGuinness will do deal before UK election

File photo dated January 5th, 1976 of the bullet riddled minibus where 10 Protestant textile workers were shot shot dead in an IRA attack near the Co Armagh village of Kingsmill in 1976. Photograph: PA

Families of 10 Protestants killed in 1976 believe Government failed to properly police border

 Liam Adams who has begun an  appeal against his conviction and sentence for raping and sexually abusing his daughter. Photograph: PA

Lawyer alleges judge’s final direction to jury wasn’t clear during conviction appeal

Ashers, which has six shops employing 62 people, is being prosecuted for refusing to bake a cake with a slogan stating “Support Gay Marriage”. It was also to feature the Sesame Street puppets, Bert and Ernie, with their arms around one another. Photograph: Getty

So-called Bert and Ernie ‘gay cake’ court case opens on Thursday

Gerry Kelly MLA North Belfast: Northern Ireland Affairs Committee “comprised politicians all of whom oppose Sinn Féin”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

MLA for North Belfast says NI investigating committee’s report ‘politically driven’ attack

Poet Michael Longley speaking at the Ulster Hall, where he received the freedom of Belfast. Photograph: Justin Kernoghan/PhotopressBelfast

Michael D Higgins praises poet for his body of work and role in the Belfast Agreement

Two masked men, one believed to be armed with a handgun, were involved in the incident, according to the PSNI

SDLP Assembly member Alban Maginness has described as ‘sickening and vile’

DUP Assembly member and East Derry MP Gregory Campbell. Mr Campbell has been censured in the Assembly for ‘blatantly disrespectful’ behaviour after yawning loudly as a Sinn Féin MLA spoke in Irish. Photograph: Trevor McBride

DUP Assembly member punished again after yawning as Sinn Féin MLA spoke in Irish

Lifelike: We start with the victim and end up directing a heavily armed Swat-type team about to hit on the main suspect. We get to deploy a surveillance helicopter. There’s even a car chase. Photograph: E+/Getty

The PSNI challenged journalists to solve a fictional murder using real policing techniques – and with the same pressures on time, (...)

Belfast city centre. Photograph: Nigel Andrews/Thinkstock

Van the Man, St George’s Market, CS Lewis, the Odyssey: a class from east Belfast have co-written a poem celebrating the things th(...)

East Derry DUP MP Gregory Campbell said:  “I believe the prime minister should work to establish a cross-Border inquiry which could focus on the horrific crimes suffered by victims and the way in which cases were covered up by republicans.”  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Maíria Cahill accuses Sinn Féin of ‘still not admitting covering up cases of abuse’

David Best’s wooden temple in Derry which will be set alight on the evening of Saturday, March 21st. Photograph: Martin McKeown/

Artist David Best brings Nevada desert ritual to the North

Former Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan has released a letter he says he sent in 2009 to Louth man Paudie McGahon, who told BBC Spotlight he was raped by an IRA man. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

In the letter dated April 27th 2009, Mr Morgan said he hoped Mr McGahon would contact gardaí about his allegations

Paudie McGahon claims he was raped by an IRA member.

Alleged victim says IRA brought its own psychiatrist to a “kangaroo court” and also offered to put a “bullet in the back of head”(...)

Theresa Villiers, Northern Secretary, says unless the disagreement over welfare in the North is solved, all sides are in “a pretty serious situation”.  Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye.

Stormont in crisis as Sinn Féin withdraws backing for Bill to revamp welfare

At the Sinn Féin ardfheis in Derry last weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Paudie McGahon says he was raped by IRA member

The Stormont House Agreement entailed the British government committing grants and loan-raising powers of £2 billion to allow the Northern Executive to cushion the effects of welfare reform, start a major public sector redundancy scheme, deal with the past, support shared and integrated education, and more besides. File photograph: Paul Faith

If NI politicians want to make life easier for welfare recipients, they must use existing funds

Paudie McGahon (40) from Co Louth pictured during the BBC Spotlight programme to be broadcast tonight. Photograph: BBC screengrab

Claim IRA subjected him to ‘kangaroo court’ and offered to kill alleged abuser

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan held telephone talks to try to solve the crisis. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Minister Flanagan seeks solution over new threat to Northern Executive and Assembly

Martin McGuinness said Sinn Féin would not be part of any agenda that punished the most vulnerable. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Martin McGuinness says Sinn Féin will oppose passage of welfare bill in Northern Assembly

A file image from the 1990s of former  Ulster Unionist leader James Molyneaux. Photograph: Reuters

Molyneaux led UUP from 1979 to 1995 and was one of the longest-serving leaders of the party

Gerry Adams and  Martin McGuinness after the latter’s address at the  ardfheis. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sinn Féin Ardfheis: Buoyant gathering suggests the biggest threat to party now is hubris

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams addresses the party’s ardfheis at the Millenium Forum in Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Party leader pledges to abolish water charges and property tax and introduce wealth tax

Sinn  Féin president Gerry Adams, Cllr Noeleen Reilly and Donegal TD Pearse Doherty TD at the Sinn Fein ardfheis in  Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Gildernew wants island-wide referendum during lifetime of next Dáil and Assembly

Potential partners: Peter Robinson with David Cameron in the Downing Street garden (bottom right) and with Ed Miliband in Belfast (bottom left); David Cameron formed his current coalition with Nick Clegg (top left); Robinson will be under pressure to deliver short-term gains to party colleagues frightened of Traditional Unionist Voice, the party of Jim Allister (top right). Photographs: Will Oliver/AFP/Getty, Charles McQuillan/Getty, Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty and Paul Faith/PA Wire

Peter Robinson and the Democratic Unionist Party are being wooed by David Cameron’s Conseratives and Ed Miliband’s Labour Party ah(...)

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness delivering an address at the opening of the Sinn Féin Ardfheis 2015 in Millennium Forum, Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness addresses party ardfheis

Denis O’Brien: put up $750,000 with Paddy McKillen to help the  SDLP after New York dinner. Photograph; Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Party has not engaged in fundraising since ban on large foreign donations in 2007

SF is the party with the highest income and expenditure in the North

Cardinal Peter Turkson said that Pope Francis was planning to publish a papal encyclical later this year on human ecology. The cardinal is currently visiting Ireland.  File photograph:  Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Cardinal Peter Turkson announces planned papal encyclical during his visit to Ireland

Stormont. The Northern Ireland Assembly has adopted a motion criticising the naming of a Newry park after hunger striker Raymond McCreesh. File photograph: Paul Faith/PA

Debate on decision by Newry and Mourne Council to name play park for hunger striker

The office of the North’s Police Ombudsman has confirmed that a file is to be sent to the Northern Ireland director of public prosecutions to determine if two former police officers should be charged for a number of crimes including conspiracy to murder

Families complain about major UVF ‘supergrass’ trial taking so long to proceed

Under the Stormont House Agreement, £700 million is being set aside to pay for the cost of the 20,000 public sector redundancies  in Northern Ireland, with £200 million made available in each of the coming three years and £100 million provided in 2018/2019. File photograph: Paul Faith/PA Photo

Stormont House Agreement to see 20,000 civil and public sector jobs shed over four years

The reduction in the number of departments was suggested during the Stormont House Agreement. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Northern Executive to be reduced in size from 12 to nine departments

Peter Robinson addressed a business breakfast in west Belfast on Friday in what the Sinn Fein MP Paul Maskey described as a “historic” visit.Above,Peter Robinson  with Bishop Noel Treanor in the Great Hall at Stormont, Belfast..  Photo: Jonathan Porter

Peter Robinson says he wants ‘more jobs for everyone’ in Northern Ireland

The threat from dissident republicans remains severe in Northern Ireland but moderate in Britain, the Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers has informed Westminster. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

PSNI investigating booby-trap bomb incident in Armagh which left Sinn Féin supporter injured

Former Progressive Unionist Party leader Ms Purvis said the Northern Assembly “forces” any woman who is pregnant as a result of rape or incest, and wants an abortion, to continue with that pregnancy against her will. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire.

Legislation in North breaches Britain’s ‘international human rights obligations’

The injured man was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast for specialised face and eye treatment.

Sinn Féin accuses ‘gangs masquerading as republicans’ of attempted murder

A body has been found by police investigating the disappearance of a woman in Co Antrim.

Two men being questioned by PSNI in connection with case of Pauline Carmichael (61)

A diesel laundry discovered near Inniskeen last November. It has the capacity to launder 20 million litres a year. Photograph: Ciara Wilkinson.

Criminal gangs operating out of south Armagh and along Border difficult to tackle

File photograph of former SDLP deputy first minister Seamus Mallon with David Trimble, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair at Stormont. A dinner in honour of Mr Mallon was attended by hundreds in Armagh. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Former SDLP deputy first minister praised for showing ‘disdain for sectarian politics’

File photo of SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell: A hospital consultant has said that Mr McDonnell’s recent comments about the inability to detect foetal abnormalities undermine the professional integrity of doctors. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Consultant challenges comment that “nobody can predict that a foetus is not viable”

Theresa Villiers says it’s time to end repeat of previous failed attempts to settle Twelfth of July standoff

 Bernard McGinley was buried in Athlone on Monday. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.

PSNI investigating murder of man who was shot in Newtownbutler

Attorney General Maire Whelan. The Pat Finucane Centre has said it has informed her of this “new evidence”

Attorney General asked to follow-up on new documents showing British army retained more than 400 hours of interrogation recordings(...)

Oisín McGrath who died after an incident at his school. Photograph: Pacemaker

Sources say boy was injured as senior pupils sought to retrieve a ball from younger boys

Derek Brockwell. It is understood he was arrested while having a drink at a pub on Bedford Street, Belfast

On-the-run prisoner thought to have been caught drinking in city centre bar

PSNI Det Insp Michelle Griffin appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information to contact the police

Police appeal for witnesses after 17-year-old shot three times in legs by masked assailants

Former DUP minister for social development Nelson McCausland has described a decision by Newry, Mourne and Down district council to put Irish first on its logo and literature as an exercise in “cultural sectarianism”. File photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Former DUP minister says Newry, Mourne and Down district council’s policy is ‘political’

Two men were shot at a wedding in Newtownbutler,  Co Fermanagh on February 11th. Photograph: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

Bernard McGinley, from Co Longford, was shot in Newtownbutler earlier this month

The suspected republican dissident paramilitary-style shooting happened around 9.20 pm in Monagh Drive when a 17-year-old male was shot.

Detectives are looking for witnesses to the suspected republican dissident paramilitary-style shooting

CCTV footage of Derek Brockwell (53) from Glasgow entering Urban Pharmacy on Belfast’s Dublin Road before he was caught by police on Wednesday night. Photograph: Pacemaker

Fugitive prisoner arrested outside Belfast pub

Oisin McGrath’s father Nigel (front right) carries Oisin’s coffin during his funeral at St Patrick’s Church in Holywell, Belcoo Co. Fermanagh: Niall Carson/PA Wire

17-year-old held on suspicion of manslaughter

Plans for the proposed hotel and drawings from the building’s ship-designing days. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

British Heritage Lottery Fund providing £4.9 million to restore historic derelict building

A suspected dissident republican bomb found following searches in a housing estate in Derry City was viable and “designed to kill”, a PSNI officer said.

Viable device discovered during searches in Currynierin after telephone warnings

The North’s Minister for Health Jim Wells wants to bring back prescription charges. Photograph: Thinkstock

Reintroduction of fees abolished in 2010 would help pay for specialist medicines

Members of the McGinley-Connors wedding party leave the church in Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh,  after the shooting on Wednesday. Photograph:  Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker

Suspect, who is based in Republic, has large network of family, friends and associates in Britain

Oísin McGrath (13) died after he was injured in a playground incident, it was confirmed on Thursday night

Oisín McGrath (13) suffered injuries at school in Enniskillen during lunch break

The wedding party leaving  the church in Newtownbutler following an earlier fatal shooting in which a 63-year-old relative of the bride was killed.  Photograph: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

Officer appeals for perpetrators to come forward before any ‘further bloodshed’

Members of a  wedding party leave a church in Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh after a shooting in the grounds of St Mary’s Catholic church. Photograph: Ronan McGrade/Pacemaker Press

Incident happened as bride was preparing to walk up the aisle, priest says

 Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said some SDLP Assembly members were defying Dr Alasdair McDonnell by tabling  amendments. Photograph: PA

McGuinness claims SDLP ‘dissidents” prepared to wreck Agreement

A rioting crowd on Dublin’s O’Connell Street , which resulted in the cancellation of a Love Ulster March through Dublin in 2006. Photograph: Alan Betson

Loyalist William Frazer calls for information about 1976 IRA Kingsmill massacre

David Strahan has  said he will continue in his job until September to allow a successor to be appointed to Translink, the company which runs Northern Ireland’s rail and main bus services.

Translink head gives up £155,000 job to devote his life to ‘preaching the gospel’

A woman has told the North’s Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry that while in the care of the Sisters of Nazareth   as a child she was raped by two priests, sexually abused by two nuns and  forced to eat her own vomit.

Woman alleges rape by priests and nuns forcing her to eat her own vomit

The newly elected moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ireland Reverend Ian McNie said the church would have his full support if it elects a woman moderator within the next few years. Photograph: PA

New Presbyterian moderator says broadcaster’s comments about God were sorrowful

Rev Ian McNie: Next Presbyterian moderator

Ballymoney-based minister elected by 12 out of 19 presbyteries

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell: the party has altered its stance on the NCA following concessions gained after “hard negotiation”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Party says it has won concessions to make NCA accountable to PSNI and Policing Board

First Minister Peter Robinson was joined by several senior party colleagues in the art deco Strand cinema including some DUP Westminster candidates such as Nigel Dodds and Gregory Campbell for the launch of the party’s election billboard.

The First Minister says the party is there to get the best possible deal for NI

Prison officers with some police support regained control of the dissident wing of Maghaberry prison following a protest at the Co Antrim prison.

Some 40 republicans serving sentences or on remand in high security prison

The Committee on the Administration of Justice report has found that there is evidence of a “common purpose” between the British state and its security agencies to prevent the truth emerging about state killings. Photograph: The Irish Times

Report highlights shortcomings in dealing with fatalities since Belfast Agreement signed

Robert Hamill:   fatally assaulted in a loyalist attack in Portadown, Co Armagh in April 1997.

British Ministry of Justice confirms two discs have gone missing in the post

The body of a man, believed to be a member of the Belfast Chinese community, was found on Botanic Avenue on Thursday morning. Photograph: PA

Victim believed to have suffered sustained knife attack on Botanic Avenue

 Former chief medical officer of England, Sir Liam Donaldson (right) with the  North’s Health Minister Jim Wells.       Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Review cites a 2011 finding that four rather than 10 acute hospitals should be sufficient

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