‘A recent Belfast opinion poll suggested a majority in favour of Mike Nesbitt’s action in pulling his Ulster Unionist party minister out of the Stormont executive. That was a clear illustration of widespread exasperation at the performance of the political classes.’ Above,   Mike Nesbitt (right) after speaking to the media at Stormont in Belfast on Monday,  September 14th. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Few things are certain about the peace process, but one thing seems sure enough in the latest crisis: that the Assembly which now requires yet another(...)

Jonathan Bardon: many authors, while (rightly) concerned to be scholarly, do not seem to put themselves out to be lucid, lively and just plain readable

Historian Jonathan Bardon’s works include A History of Ulster (Blackstaff Press, 1992); Belfast: A Century (Blackstaff Press, 1999); Beyond the Stu(...)

‘One can also only imagine how much it took for Prince Charles on Tuesday to shake the hand of the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams who was such a significant figure in the leadership of the organisation which had killed his beloved Mountbatten.’ Photograph: Adam Gerrard/ WPA Pool/Getty Images

On the night that Lord Mountbatten was killed by an IRA bomb in Mullaghmore in August 1979, Prince Charles wrote in his journal: “Life will never be t(...)

Martin McGuinness: claimed any deaths of civilians in IRA operations were due to “mistakes”. Photograph: PA

‘Obviously people will have their own interpretation of that” was one of the starker lines delivered by Martin McGuinness during a debate at the Oxfor(...)

Understanding the change in Ian Paisley has thrown even the most astute commentators off course. How did the demagogue whose constant rant was: “Never(...)

True blue: Margaret Thatcher, photographed in 1981, came across as the ultimate conviction politician. Photograph: ITV/Rex Features
Thatcher’s Irish eyes
  • UK
  • April 13, 2013, 06:00

The sight of Margaret Thatcher’s blazing and unblinking eyes, filmed in 1981 and televised again this week, brought it all back again as she v(...)

Peace wall on Cupar Street, off Shankill Road in Belfast. Photograph: David Sleator

Northern Ireland is an incomparably better place now than when the Belfast Agreement came into being exactly 15 years ago. There is far less vi(...)