Gary Haggarty: he agreed in 2010 to give evidence against up to 14 of his former UVF colleagues and two of his former police handlers.  Photograph: Pacemaker

Life sentence likely to be reduced due to loyalist ex-commander’s ‘supergrass’ role

Aaron Harbinson (centre), son of Gary Haggarty’s victim John Harbinson outside Belfast Crown Court following the UVF man’s guilty pleas to over two hundred terrorism charges including five murders.

Ex-UVF commander pleaded guilty to the five murders committed between 1994 and 1997

The Queen’s Speech on Wednesday referred to “delivering on the armed forces covenant across the United Kingdom” - something that Sinn Féin are opposed to in Northern Ireland. Photograph:  Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

Conservatives’ concentration on deal with DUP undermining prospects in North

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood:  said the DUP-Conservative  talks were undermining the Stormont negotiations. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

DUP seeking agreement with Theresa May’s Conservatives worth at least £2bn

Sinn Féin’s Gerry Kelly  speaking   at Stormont Castle  on Tuesday  about the  talks  to restore  the North’s Assembly. Photograph:   Jonathan Porter/

DUP tells Conservatives that it ‘must not be taken for granted’

Small Blue Butterfly found in Co Fermanagh.

Cupido minimus is Northern Ireland’s rarest and most endangered butterfly

Northern  Secretary  James Brokenshire and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, at Stormont. Photograph: Simon Graham/NOI/PA Wire

New Minister for Foreign Affairs at Stormont for talks aimed at restoring Northern Executive and Assembly

Dara Calleary: Fianna Fáil cannot understand why Fine Gael is so determined to undermine the judiciary

Fianna Fáil question why Fine Gael has gone ahead with 'arrogant' appointment

 Theresa May in a unionist band: The DUP has seen itself  mocked in  tweets, news websites and cartoons

Many in the DUP are not finely attuned to modern PC but they are true to themselves

The commission is to investigate decisions made by the department which was run by DUP minister Paul Givan.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Equality Commission also examining community halls grant programme

British prime minister Theresa May: meeting with Northern parties will  try to advance the prospects of reinstating the Northern Executive and Assembly. Photograph:  Leon Neal/Getty Images

Northern Secretary James Brokenshire reaffirms June 29th deadline for Assembly deal

Arlene Foster and Theresa May: talks between the DUP and British PM are expected to see the party support the Conservatives to form a government. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/PA Wire

Stick to Belfast Agreement as London, Stormont talks continue - Flanagan

The tone of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams’s  press conference appeared conciliatory.  Photograph: Reuters

Gerry Adams says DUP-Conservative deal would be ‘coalition for chaos’

DUP leader Arlene Foster and Conservative leader Theresa May. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/PA Wire

Uncertainty over whether Brokenshire will attend as UK election result clouds picture

Former SDLP MP Alasdair McDonnell, who lost his seat after last week’s election, at the Titanic exhibition count centre in Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Former deputy leader Seamus Mallon says ‘there is more to politics than power’

A delighted DUP leader Arlene Foster at the Belfast Count Centre supporting MP Gavin Robinson who was elected in East Belfast. Photograph: Alan Lewis/

Theresa May’s words about ‘strong relationship’ with DUP must be music to Foster’s ears

DUP leader Arlene Foster (centre) with MPs at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast after British prime minister Theresa May  announced that she will work with “friends and allies” in the DUP to enable her to lead a government.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

DUP soared ahead, with 53,400 votes more than Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill (centre), with newly elected Sinn Fein MP for West Tyrone Barry McElduff MP (left) and newly elected MP for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, Michelle Gildernew (right), at the Omagh Leisure Complex, Co Tyrone. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Analysis: DUP hand strengthened ahead of UK Brexit negotiations as Tories fail to get overall majority

Alliance Party candidate for Belfast West Sorcha Eastwood – with her husband, Dale Shirlow –  at a polling station in Lisburn on their wedding day. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

DUP and Sinn Féin make major gains at expense of SDLP and Ulster Unionists

The Continuity IRA  said  a ‘small amount of arms and explosive material’ it possessed would be decommissioned. Photograph: PA.

Some scepticism about comments as group has split into several factions in recent years

 Duncan McCausland: one of a group of nine people, which also includes former chief constable of West Yorkshire Police Mark Gilmore, expected to take a case against the PSNI. Photograph: Alan Betson

Nine people expected to seek damages from force over inquiry into alleged corruption

Alliance candidate for West Belfast Sorcha Eastwood casts her vote in the 2017 General Election, with her husband, Dale Shirlow, in tow. Photograph: PA

Governments await result to weigh prospect of reinstating the Executive and Assembly

Theresa May called a snap election in April as she faced Brexit negotiations. File photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

British prime minister to reshuffle cabinet posts following general election losses

Arlene Foster has urged unionists to rally behind the DUP to demonstrate to Sinn Féin that there is little or no prospect of a referendum on unity succeeding. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Big focus will be on performance of DUP and Sinn Féin

Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill and Ulster Unionist Leader Robin Swann debating on Monday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Five main Northern Ireland political parties battle it out on BBC ahead of Thursday’s vote

Election posters for Michelle Gildernew of Sinn Féin and Tom Elliott of the UUP. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Tom Elliott was a surprise victor in 2015, but Michelle Gildernew should have the edge

Alliance leader Naomi Long and DUP Deputy leader Nigel Dodds at UTV Studios on Monday for the Westminster Election Debate. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Group with backing of UVF, UDA and Red Hand Commando warns unionists against voting for Alliance

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) candidate Emma Little-Pengelly campaigning for the upcoming election in Belfast. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

South Belfast: Emma Little-Pengelly is a talent but Alasdair McDonnell won’t go quietly

Seamus Ruddy: abducted from Paris and murdered by the INLA in 1985

‘Disappeared’ victim who went missing in 1985 to be buried alongside parents in Newry

Naomi Long (Alliance), Nigel Dodds (DUP), Robin Swan (UUP), Michelle O’Neill (Sinn Féin) and Colum Eastwood (SDLP) at UTV Studios in Belfast for the Westminster election debate. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Westminster polls will be good for DUP and Sinn Féin, but bad for middle ground

Naomi Long, Alliance;  Nigel Dodds, DUP;  Robin Swan, UUP;  Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Féin, and  Colum Eastwood, SDLP at UTV Studios in Belfast for the Westminster Election Debate. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA

Brexit, Irish unity, and IRA and UDA violence feature as North’s politicians pitch to voters

Rev Dr Noble McNeely, who was installed as the new moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland on Monday. “Being a disciple of Jesus in the modern world of today is growing more and more difficult and intimidating,” he said.

Dr Noble McNeely says being a Christian is growing ‘difficult and intimidating’

 Prof Patrick Johnston, who was in his late 50s,  took over as president and vice-chancellor of Queen’s University in 2014. File photograph: Alan Betson

Prof Patrick Johnston was leading cancer expert who wanted to make Belfast college international powerhouse

Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann.Photograph: Peter Morrison/PA Wire.

Sinn Féin to blame for ‘outrageous’ failure to appoint new NI executive, Robin Swann says

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long at the launch of its manifesto on Wednesday: wasn’t putting much store by polls which indicated the possibility of a hung British parliament. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Alliance leader says it would be ‘reckless’ to hold Border poll on united Ireland

DUP leader Arlene Foster spoke about how “polls come and go” while deputy leader Nigel Dodds took the latest polling with a “great pinch of salt”. Above, at the Democratic Unionist Party election manifesto launch. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

‘Sinn Féin will face the irritation of being pressed on why it refuses to sit in a parliament which will decide the ultimate shape(...)

DUP leader Arlene Foster. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Unionist leader says Westminster poll more about future of the union than devolution

Jim Wells’s deleted tweet: “Many complaints about Sinn Féin canvassing in Rathfriland yesterday,” the DUP politician wrote. “They are not welcome in this Unionist town.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gildernew rejects ‘no-go areas’ after Jim Wells says party isn’t welcome in Rathfriland

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood during the launch of the party’s election manifesto at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

‘DUP seat will only add to Tory numbers – a Sinn Féin seat won’t even get counted’ – Colum Eastwood

Castlewellan plane crash: the PSNI said the aircraft’s occupants were treated in the forest park. Photograph: Simon Brown/Getty

Two occupants were able to walk away from plane at Castlewellan

The Catholic primate, Archbishop Eamon Martin. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Voters have a ‘moral duty’ to weigh up the issues at stake in Westminster election

The murder is being linked to a long-running feud between two different factions of the Ulster Defence Association. Photograph: PA Wire

Victim shot up to six times in supermarket car park seconds after his son (3) in his arms

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

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