Margaret McGuckin is hugged by her brother Kevin, who was also abused, after the publication of the Historical Institutional Abuse report. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry reveals ‘unspeakable’ damage done to children

Cardinal Seán Brady arriving to give evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry in  June  2015.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Inquiry critical of 1975 canon law investigation into the Brendan Smyth case

Alleged victims of historical institutional abuse including Edward McCann (centre cap) arrive at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Belfast for   publication of the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry report. Photograph: AFP

Evidence of sexual, physical and emotional abuse across 22 Catholic and Protestant and state run homes investigated

 Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness back in 1983. Photograph:  PA Wire

Despite crisis, former deputy first minister is optimistic, saying dialogue only way forward

Sir Anthony Hart, chairman of HIA Inquiry. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

The 2,300-page 12-volume report must deliver justice for victims, Amnesty says

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, with his wife Bernie,  addresses supporters who gathered outside his home in Derry on Thursday night.  Photograph: Trevor McBride

Republicans will miss him, but unionists with political sense may do so too

Members of Sinn Fein  in the Great Hall at Stormont, Belfast. Outgoing Minister for Finance Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has announced a public inquiry into the North’s Renewable Heat Incentive controversy.  File photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

DUP adviser resigns after being accused of exerting pressure over RHI scheme

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness leaves Bishops Gate hotel after announcing his intention not to see re-election in Derry, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Ex-deputy first minister of Northern Ireland says health and political crisis behind decision

Dr Andrew McCormick gives evidence to the public accounts committee in the Assembly, Stormont, on Wednesday. Photograph: PA Wire

Dr Andrew McCormick says likely ‘insider information’ passed on over RHI scheme

John Robinson has confirmed his now father-in-law availed of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, having earlier denied a family link to the scheme. Photograph: Getty

Former party press officer says he was unaware of father-in-law’s application to scheme

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said ‘nowhere will be more damaged’ by Brexit than Northern Ireland. Photograph: Eric Luke

Some Ministers say the promised hard Brexit will lead to significant difficulties for Ireland

Sinn Féin election poster going up outside the party’s headquarters on Belfast’s Falls Road. Photograph: Justin Kernoghan

Co Tyrone politician to forefront in arguing and defending Sinn Féin’s policy positions

Former minister for health Edwin Poots accuses opposition Assembly members of mounting a “hate campaign” against  former first minister. Photograph: Kevin Boyes

US state department urges Northern politicians to quickly restore powersharing

Scott Dewees feels he has a good grip on whatever is the essence of Belfast, particularly because he does not share the Troubles-related antipathy found among so many in the Republic: “I don’t have the personal baggage some in the South have; I just took Belfast as I found it.”

Retired film scout: ‘Belfast is a city in a country in a renaissance; what better place to be?”

Former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness  leaves the Assembly chamber on Monday. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Analysis: Sinn Féin is primed for the poll, but the DUP seems caught in the headlights

Stormont Parliament  at dusk in Belfast, Northern Ireland, January 16th, 2017. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Concerns over relations between DUP and SF potentially worsening before March 2nd vote

Northern Secretary James Brokenshire on BBC’s ‘Andrew Marr Show’: he said his concern was that an election campaign would be divisive. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

Northern Secretary ‘not contemplating’ return to direct rule after elections

British prime minister Theresa May is expected to say this week that Britain is prepared to leave both the single market and the EU’s customs union. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Theresa May expected to say Britain prepared to exit single market and customs union

DUP Minister Paul Givan: said the scheme was hugely oversubscribed. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

More than 30 Orange Order halls and loyalist bands, two GAA clubs benefited from grants

A native of Los Angeles, Scott Dewees first came to Northern Ireland 30 years ago. He now lives in a  penthouse apartment overlooking the Titanic Quarter.

‘I love the smallness of Belfast’ says Scott Dewees, who lives in the Titanic Quarter

Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster: The earliest NI secretary James Brokenshire can set a polling date is 43 days from Monday, leaving a six-week election campaign. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

If Stormont is dissolved and an election battle begins, the DUP will meet fire with fire

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt said it should not be assumed that the DUP and Sinn Féin will again emerge as the main parties in the North. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt says election should be referendum on ‘cash for ash’ debacle

 Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy (left), Michelle O’Neill (centre)  and Gerry Kelly speaking to the media at Stormont Parliament in Belfast, this week. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Minister for Health Michelle O’Neill says the Irish language will be at the front of election campaign

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire are not optimistic of a resolution to the Stormont crisis. Photograph: Eric Luke

Flanagan and Brokenshire concede ‘high probability’ of Assembly elections

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan speaks to the media at Stormont House in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Charlie Flanagan holds meetings with DUP’s Arlene Foster and members of Sinn Féin

DUP Communities Minister Paul Givan: “My decision on the Líofa Bursary Scheme was not a political decision.” Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Charlie Flanagan in Belfast for meetings with Northern Secretary James Brokenshire

This is a time when a strong political voice should be heard from Stormont to try to ensure a favourable Brexit deal for the North. Instead it seems the voices will be of electoral squabbling

Dreading another election? Just be thankful if it is just one more this year

 Northern Secretary  James Brokenshire said he was trying to determine if there was a way to avoid   elections. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Efforts continue to avert elections although main consensus is Assembly poll inevitable

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire makes a statement to the media at Stormont House in Belfast Wednesday. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Northern secretary says elections are highly likely after contacts with Sinn Féin

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin  address the media about the IRA ceasefire. Photograph: Pacemaker

‘Cash for ash’ scandal may prove too much for weakened former deputy first minister

DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster announced plans to carry out a public inquiry into the flawed “cash for ash” heating scheme which precipitated this crisis. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Sinn Féin dismissive of proposal while both governments seem resigned to poll

Northern Secretary James Brokenshire told  House of Commons on Tuesday the political situation in Northern Ireland was grave. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Jeffrey Donaldson warns North could face a return to extended period of direct rule

 DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster arrives at DUP headquarters in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Outgoing First Minister wants to start ‘cash for ash’ investigation by the end of the week

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness leaving Stormont Castle. He insisted his health was not a factor in his decision.  Photograph: Justin Kernoghan/Photopress Belfast

Deputy first minister’s announcement means Foster must cease to act as First Minister

Northern Ireland’s former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness. “His actions have meant that, at precisely the time we need our government to be active, we will have no government,” said outgoing First Minister Arlene Foster.

Deputy First Minister steps down over ‘cash for ash’ and insists his health is not a factor

There was a lot of spinning in Stormont on Monday, and the strong line from Sinn Féin was that the controversy had moved way beyond “cash-for-ash”

North looks set for a very nasty election but neither side looks willing to budge

Martin McGuinness leaves Stormont  on Monday  following his resignation. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Shock in Stormont at apparent deterioration in former deputy first minister’s health

Martin McGuinness announcing his resignation at his office in Stormont Castle on Monday. Handout photo issued by Sinn Féin.

‘Today is the right time to call a halt to the DUP’s arrogance’

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mary Lou McDonald warns of Assembly elections if First Minister does not stand aside

Ulster University, in partnership with the University of Oxford and funded with €210,800 from the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, will investigate if microbubble technology can provide a similar boost alongside traditional radiotherapy treatments. File photograph: Getty Images

Ulster University: New ‘microbubble technology’ therapy could improve options

DUP First Minister Arlene Foster remains under fire over ‘cash for ash’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Féin dismisses DUP proposals for dealing with renewable heat scheme overspend

A member of the public looks at a mural referencing the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) crisis and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster in a Belfast city centre car park. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir to meet Simon Hamilton who is planning scheme to reduce overspend to zero

A member of the public looks at a mural referencing the renewable heat incentive crisis over which First Minister Arlene Foster is being urged  by some to stand down. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Arlene Foster says her critics are ‘misogynistic’ as heat scheme row continues

DUP First Minister Arlene Foster:  Calls continue for her to stand aside over the renewable heat incentive scheme, which could result in a £400 million (€470 million) overspend for the Northern authorities. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Féin keeps pressure on Arlene Foster to resign as First Minister over ‘cash for ash’

Management at George Best Belfast City Airport claims removing the cap on departures will increase its potential to attract more European flights

Decision subject to noise-management concerns being resolved at George Best Belfast City Airport

DUP First Minister Arlene Foster. Sinn Féin chairman Declan Kearney said there was a ‘real prospect’ of elections in the North if she did not stand aside.

Party chair calls for DUP’s Arlene Foster to resign over renewable heat incentive scheme

Tyrone county manager Mickey Harte: “There was a time in the ’70s when you weren’t allowed to play, in inverted commas, foreign games and play in the GAA.” Photograph: Philip Magowan/Inpho

Playing anthem and flying tricolour at Gaelic games could cease when ‘time is right’

The most recent data shows there were 1,969 children on the child protection register in Northern Ireland. Image: iStock

The PSNI records 341 offences for cruelty to children and young people in 2015-16

Hard drugs are not the only danger: “All drugs that are not taken as prescribed by your own doctor can be lethal.” Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

PSNI officer warns against ‘recreational’ drugs and misuse of prescription medication

Deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness has said there is an overwhelming desire in the Northern Ireland community for Arlene Foster to step aside.  Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

McGuinness calls on DUP leader to stand aside pending ‘cash for ash’ scheme inquiry

A Co Down couple paid £4,850 by bank transfer for a 2010 Ford Kuga. “They have lost a sizeable sum of money and have no car to show for it”

Northern Ireland couple defrauded of almost £5,000 in fake car sale

The North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister Arlene Foster. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

News review of 2016: All eyes on Adams as ‘cash for ash’ row becomes burning issue

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, who was in Stormont to monitor the no confidence motion in the DUP’s Arlene Foster as First Minister. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sinn Féin president continues pressure on Arlene Foster to step aside as First Minister

A member of the Stormont security staff looks on the television feed of First Minster Arlene Foster addressing the Assembly  in Stormont. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

North’s First Minister says SDLP motion against her ‘worthy of a Carry On film’

 First Minister Arlene Foster and her DUP colleagues were able to ensure the no confidence vote over the “cash for ash” controversy would not  succeed. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Despite calls for First Minister to stand aside classic Stormont kick-to-touch seems likely

The non-domestic element of the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme  was described as “cash for ash” or “the more you burn the more you earn”. File photograph: Getty Images

For every £1 users spent on green heating systems, they got £1.60 in subsidies

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster gives a statement on her role in a botched renewable energy scheme at Parliament Buildings, Belfast. Photograph: PA

DUP leader survives ‘no confidence’ motion after Opposition parties stage walkout

First Minister Arlene Foster has flatly rejected Martin McGuinness’s call for her to ‘stand aside’ to allow an inquiry into corruption allegations. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Analysis: Sinn Féin is playing a risky game over the ‘cash for ash’ controversy

Martin McGuinnes urged  Arlene Foster to stand down during a conversation on Friday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

First Minister says she will not resign and does not take her instructions from Sinn Féin

10th July 1970: British soldiers take aim at civil rights demonstrators in the Falls Road, Belfast. File photograph: Malcolm Stroud/Express/Getty Images

Official IRA activist Joe McCann (24) was shot dead in Belfast in April 1972

Jonathan Bell and Arlene Foster accused one another of acting aggressively to each other.

Former DUP minister says he wanted to close down revised version of scheme in January

Jonathan Bell, a former minister of enterprise, trade and investment has said he faced interference when he sought to shut down the renewable heating scheme which could result in an overspend of £400 million over the next 20 years. File photograph: Getty Images

Jonathan Bell says Arlene Foster overruled wish to end plan with potential £400m overspend

Mitchell Reiss was appointed by Northern Secretary James Brokenshire. Photograph: Eric Luke

President Bush’s former special envoy one of four members of monitoring body

First Minister Arlene Foster is under pressure over a a renewable heating incentive scheme that could result in a £400 million overspend over the next 20 years. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Assembly recalled from recess as SDLP tries to put down motion of no confidence in First Minister

A claim  that weak Irish immigration checks are allowing criminals access to the UK is not well founded, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Garda Commissioner points to success of joint operations with UK security forces

First Minister Arlene Foster: said she had “nothing to hide” over the heating incentive scheme. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

First Minister says policy was good but implementation ‘went fundamentally wrong’

The blacked-out car can seat  four people watching TV monitors on which different scenarios are played out

A total of 66 have died on Northern roads this year after two young men were killed in Tyrone

Former Sinn Féin Assembly committee chairman Daithi McKay who resigned from the party following allegations that he communicated with blogger Jamie Bryson before he made claims about Nama’s Project Eagle  property deal. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Paddy Kearney claims Daithi McKay was involved in conspiracy that damaged his reputation

 Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, his spokesman did not specify the nature of the medical assessment. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Deputy First Minister did not go on China trip due to health concerns

   Arlene Foster  with Li Pen  and Hanson Hu of Huawei Technologies   in Shanghai, China, on  Thursday: The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, which could cost  £400 million, has put pressure on the DUP First Minister. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes

Heating firm manager claims businesses left boilers on constantly to generate cash

First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster: in charge of  Department when rules for scheme approved. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

UUP leader urges First Minister to “consider position” as failings arose under her watch

Loyalist protesters converge on Belfast City Hall, January 2013, over the removal of the Union flag from the venue. Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr has  been involved in managing such difficult frontline policing in Northern Ireland  as the loyalist flags protests and parading. File photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Assistant Chief Constable Will Kerr dealt with issues such as flags protests and parading

Northern Ireland Minister for Justice Claire Sugden said  there had been successes  against gangs which comprise groups such the Ulster Volunteer Force (East Belfast mural above), the Ulster Defence Association, republican dissident groups and some eastern European gangs. File photograph: Getty Images

Executive determined to ‘rid Northern Ireland of the scourge of paramilitarism’

Aerial view of Maghaberry Prison in Co Antrim. File photograph: Google Street View

Strip-search complaint: Politicians urge Claire Sugden to implement 2010 agreements

David Trimble during his time as first minister: “The DUP and Sinn Féin are operating within structures that we and the SDLP created.” Photograph: Paul McErlane/Reuters

Interview: Former Northern Ireland first minister on Brexit, Boris and his old nemesis

Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister was the only MLA   to declare his opposition to the motion. Photo: Arthus Allison/Pacemaker

Law already passed in Westminster now given legislative consent in Northern Ireland

Third  of women in Equality Commission study say they were disadvantaged due to pregnancy or   maternity leave. Photograph: Katie Collins/PA Wire

‘Expecting Equality’ report reveals work experiences of pregnant women and mothers

DUP MLA Jim Wells  and  other anti-abortion campaigners present a petition to Stormont against changing the North’s abortion legislation. Photograph: DUP/PA Wire

DUP MLA presents ‘largest ever petition’ to Assembly against legislative change

First Minister Arlene Foster: her spokesman said “were the pope to visit Northern Ireland in his capacity as head of state, then the First Minister would meet him”

Expectation is pope would cross Border, with Presbyterian church saying he would be ‘most welcome’ in Northern Ireland

Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Irish unity the only way to uphold Northern Ireland’s wish to remain in EU - Gerry Adams

The PSNI’s  Belfast district commander, Chief Supt Chris Noble,   condemned what he called a “cowardly attempt to intimidate a law-abiding community”. Photograph: Trevor McBride

Loyalist paramilitaries suspected of placing warning messages on cars in east Belfast

John Hemsworth (39)  assaulted in  July 7th, 1997 in west Belfast. He died on New Year’s Day 1998.

North’s Police Ombudsman concludes police officers assaulted west Belfast man in 1997

Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister  Martin McGuinness  outside Clifton House in Belfast. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister calls for unionism ‘to reciprocate republican efforts’

Lorraine McCausland: Her death was described as “a merciless beating of a vulnerable young woman”.

‘Loyalist paramilitarism’ casts long shadow over rape and murder of vulnerable woman

Undated handout photo issued by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) of Daniel Rooney. Photograph: PA

Teenager was shot dead by undercover unit in the British army in Belfast in 1972

An image from a Northern Irish road safety campaign. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

The evidence shows the hard-hitting TV ads have succeeded in reducing fatalities

Taoisach Enda Kenny NI First Minister Arlene Foster and NI Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at the North-South Ministerial Council meeting in Armagh on Friday. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Political leaders in Dublin and Belfast meet for ‘Brexit impact assessment’ in Armagh

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster at Government Buildings in Dublin this week. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Some wonder if fact IRA almost killed her and her father engendered hostility to South

 Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers bakery, which was found to have breached the  North’s equality laws by refusing to make a pro-gay marriage cake. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Northern Ireland’s Attorney-General intervenes in legal row involving Christian bakers

The Pat Finucane Centre says “the family of Kevin Heatley was offered a derisory £750 because this was ‘the acceptable rate for a minor’, according to the MoD”

Mobile advertising campaign in London highlights cases of disputed killings by British soldiers

12-year-old Kevin Heatley who was shot by the British army in 1973

‘Ad van’ will travel the city’s streets highlighting cases of a father and a boy shot by British army

Madge Herron on the streets of Kentish Town. “Isn’t she wonderful,” a psychiatrist once said of the poet. “It would be a shame to cure her.”

The legacy of the Donegal-born poet and performer has been reclaimed in a new book

Ulster Unionist MP for Fermanagh South Tyrone, Tom Elliott at the Border. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

UUP MP and former UDR soldier Tom Elliott recalls days of hard Border in the North

Merlin: the area is home to threatened birds such the merlin, hen harrier, golden plover and red grouse and rare plants such as the marsh saxifrage and bog orchid. Photograph: iStock

Glens of Antrim scheme to re-wet bog also expected to help wildlife and environment

Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the All-Ireland Civic Dialogue on Brexit in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Eric Luke

Sinn Féin says it will not change Westminster policy even if it could help prevent Brexit

Members of the Garda Representative Association hold a press conference on Thursday. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Garda Representative Association executive to consider recommendation in pay dispute

The appeal is being taken by a 19-year-old woman and her mother against a  law that bars women from the North who travel to England for abortions being treated for free under the NHS

Supreme Court to hear challenge to ban on women accessing NHS-funded terminations

Ulster’s Stuart Olding and Paddy Jackson. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Rugby internationals deny any wrongdoing and are assisting PSNI, according to union

Ulster University’s Dr Declan McKenna, who led a study into  the treatment of prostate cancer. File photograph: Nigel McDowell/Ulster University/PA Wire

Ulster University researchers discover ‘hugely significant’ new treatment for disease

First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster delivers her keynote speech to delegates at the DUP annual conference at the La Mon Hotel in Dundonald, Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Leader’s stinging rebuke of Dublin provides only fireworks in otherwise bland address

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