The  Omagh bombing: “Sceptics may doubt whether paramilitary groups will step up, but no one knows where a dynamic process will lead.” Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

As usual this Christmas, there were private tears and empty chairs at festive tables. Grief permeates like a dull poison down the generations. Bereav(...)

But the past is not just about British national security, about the military and intelligence agencies and what information will be disclosed. This process is no closer to understanding what co-operation it could expect from the IRA and the various loyalist organisations.  PA

On the cover of the latest Stormont deal the words “A fresh start” are typed. They are meant to signal yet another new beginning, another moment when (...)

The oldest school in Belfast is celebrating its 230th anniversary with the help of pupils and eminent alumni. Photograph: Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

Whether it is in politics, in the arts, or on the Ireland rugby team, you do not have to look very far to find a Belfast Royal Academy pupil making(...)

Former Labour Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Hain has issued an extraordinary public rebuke to his party’s Northern Ireland spokesman Ivan Lewis in a bitter argument. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Former Labour Northern Ireland Secretary of State Peter Hain has issued an extraordinary public rebuke to his party’s Northern Ireland spokesman Ivan (...)

Lord Robin Eames: Joint report urged establishment of legacy commission. Photographer: Dara MacDónaill

The Irish and British governments need to become directly involved in efforts to reach an agreement on dealing with Northern Ireland’s past, former Ch(...)

Sir Hugh Orde:   historic issues had “not been dealt with effectively and until they are we will get this roller-coaster ride which citizens of Northern Ireland do not need”.  Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Proposals for dealing with Northern Ireland’s past – rejected five years ago – must be “dusted off”, former PSNI chief constable Sir Hugh Orde has sai(...)

PSNI chief constable Matt Baggott and his senior officers are questioned about the issues of the day

Maurice Hayes, one of the men responsible for the creation of the North’s policing bo(...)

Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence Alan Shatter: an overarching argument brought into sharp focus in the public spats between the GSOC and the whistleblowers on one side and Mr Shatter and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan on the other. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

In the late 1990s, when a modest reform of the Garda Complaints Board was being mooted, then minister for justice John O’Donoghue took seriousl(...)

Former Labour Northern Ireland secretary of state Peter Hain said he saw “no point in endlessly searching for evidence of crimes committed so many years ago”. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA.

Former Labour Northern Ireland secretary of state, Peter Hain, has been strongly criticised by Sinn Féin and the SDLP for saying that British so(...)

Martin McGuinness: contended yesterday there was information about the on-the-runs scheme in the political and public arena

First Minister Peter Robinson and other unionist politicians have continued to insist they were unaware of th(...)