Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers. Photograph: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

Asked a few years ago to nominate the best parliamentary speech he had ever heard, the former British Labour minister, Denis Healey, nominated Conserv(...)

Garret FitzGerald and Margaret Thatcher sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The then British prime minister Margaret Thatcher asked what the reaction would be if the British bombed Dundalk in pursuit of IRA terrorists when she(...)

A file image of Northern Ireland First Minister and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Peter Robinson who confirmed on Thursday he is to stand down from the role and as leader of the DUP.  Photograph: Reuters

Peter Robinson’s decision to stand down as DUP leader and First Minister is a big moment in Northern Ireland politics. It means unionism is losing its(...)

The Rev Ian Paisley and James Molyneaux speaking to supporters in Hillsborough prior to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Photograph: Dermot O’Shea

The hall was full. Every chair in the building had been brought in from other rooms, yet there were still dozens of people huddled in the hallway and (...)

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

The SDLP has laid limpet-like claim to South Down since Eddie McGrady first won the seat for the party in 1987. That’s because the seat was so hard-wo(...)

Ulster Unionist Party leader James Molyneaux who has died aged 94.

Lord Molyneaux of Killead, who has died aged 94, led the Ulster Unionist Party from 1979 until 1995, a period when the British-Irish relationship was (...)

Gordon Brown speaking to scoolchildren in Fife on Friday. The re-energised former prime minister played a key role in the final days of the No campaign. Photograph: Garry McHarg/Reuters

The centuries of ties between the Scots and the English are littered with broken promises. Each has left its layer of resentment, each remembered a(...)

A photograph of First Minister Peter Robinson with members of the Muslim community during his visit to the Belfast Islamic Centre in Wellington Park, south Belfast earlier this week,  where he made a public apology for any offence caused to Muslims by his defence of  controversial pastor James McConnell. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye /PA Wire.

Pastor James McConnell has publicly apologised for his depiction of Islam as “satanic”, “heathen” and “a doctrine spawned in hell”. He also said forme(...)

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson said he planned to   meet local Muslim leaders to ‘demonstrate my ongoing support for them as integral law-abiding citizens in Northern Ireland’. Photograph: The Irish Times

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson has moved to try to dampen an escalating controversy caused by his decision to defend a Belfast Prote(...)

Japan allows virtually no immigration at all. The single most effective growth-boosting strategy would be to open up to more immigration. AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara/AP Photo

If demography is destiny, we pay far too little attention to it. There are so many other fun things to look at, stuff that makes headlines and has, su(...)