Britain’s Queen Elizabeth  meeting then president Mary McAleese  at Áras an Uachtaráin in May 2011. “Relations between the two states have never been better, a closeness symbolised by the queen’s hugely successful visit.”   Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The mischievous streak in me likes the word “collaboration”: it is a subversive word. I believe in the obvious – that the road to peace out of any con(...)

Victoria Square in Belfast. The rate of joblessness in Northern Ireland is almost half that of the South’s, and the numbers at work have risen slightly since 2008, compared with a precipitous decline of more than 300,000 in the Republic

This column has, no doubt, many failings. None has been more serious than its neglect of issues related to the northern part of this island. Th(...)

First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness smiling after being sworn in as Ministers of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Stormont, in May  2007.  Photograph:  Paul Faith

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness emerged dissatisfied from Downing Street following his most recent visit. He described the meeting he and Peter R(...)