First Minister Peter Robinson: has had a rough year, personally and politically. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

In Dublin and in London there is relief that Peter Robinson can still summon the energy on his return from holidays to make one last stab at trying to(...)

Lucinda Creighton: “Sinn Féin are very well aware that what they are saying in opposition is not going to be upheld if they get into government.” Photograph: Sara Freund

Sinn Féin’s stance on water charges proves it is not fit for government, according to Renua Ireland leader Lucinda Creighton. Ms Creighton on Monda(...)

Bad old days: IRA graffiti in Belfast in 2002. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Getty

Why all this talk about the IRA? I thought they’d gone away, you know? There was a pretty widespread perception that IRA members became ex-IRA members(...)

“This is a highly deplorable incident,”  Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has said over the sending of a suspicious package sent to his constituency office. “It is not something any office of any occupation should have to deal with at any time.”  File photograph:  Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has condemned whoever sent a threatening package to his constituency office. A package, containing a suspiciou(...)

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt: his party has   resigned from Northern Ireland’s power-sharing executive and is forming an opposition over claims the Provisional IRA still exists. Photograph: PA

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt has said trust between political parties in Northern Ireland must been re-established if the current politic(...)

Mike Nesbitt’s decision to pull a UUP Minister  out of the Executive exacerbated the sense of crisis. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

After the political maelstrom of the past week and the sense that the powersharing bodies could be blown apart in the tumult, Northern Ireland’s po(...)

 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers will meet Government Ministers to determine if the collapse of the Stormont powersharing institutions can be prevented. File photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers will meet Government Ministers in Dublin next week to determine if the collapse of the Stormo(...)

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern: “People should keep it calm.” Photograph: The Irish Times

Former taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said it was envisaged the Provisional IRA would continue to exist as an unarmed group to prevent a vacuum emerging t(...)

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt: The UUP chief’s move has exerted pressure on the DUP to follow suit. Photograph: PressEye

The DUP said it will meet the British prime minister David Cameron soon to try to avert the collapse of Stormont institutions after the Ulster Unionis(...)

First Minister Peter Robinson won’t want to be seen to be dancing to the tune of Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

There’s a Vladimir Putin style of macho competitive politics sometimes played within unionism. Which means that Peter Robinson won’t want to be seen t(...)