John Kerry has appointed Gary Hart as a special envoy to Northern Ireland. Photograph: EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

The United States has appointed former senator and presidential candidate Gary Hart as an envoy to Northern Ireland to play “a direct, on-the-ground d(...)

The round tower of the Island of Ireland Peace Park in Flanders, several kilometres away from where the famous football game between British and German soldiers during the Christmas truce of 1914 took place. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Writer, producer and humanist Don Mullan has no reason to feel particularly nostalgic about the passing of former Democratic Unionist Party leader (...)

Northern Secretary  Theresa Villiers addressing the  Conservative Party conference  in Birmingham yesterday. “The time is now right for a new round of cross-party talks,” she said. Photograph: PA

Fresh talks are to be held to try and break the political stalemate in the North’s peace process by Christmas, the British and Irish governments have (...)

PSNI chief constable George Hamilton who said the status quo in Northern Ireland is simply not an option. Photograph: Reuters

The British and Irish governments should become involved if Northern Ireland politicians fail to deal with the past, the PSNI chief constable George H(...)

Gary Hart is also meeting with representatives from the UK and Irish governments on his visit across the Atlantic. Photograph: Reuters

A former US senator tasked by Washington to assess the state of the peace process in Northern Ireland has met politicians in Belfast.Gary Hart, a two-(...)

Richard Haass: the caucus urged parties to re-enter discussions on his proposals on the contentious issues of parades, flags and the past

The Friends of Ireland caucus in the US Congress has expressed concern about fresh political divisions in the North, saying they risk undermining the(...)

Kevin O’Malley, Missouri lawyer, nominee for US ambassador to Ireland, with Missouri senator Claire McCaskill at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the US today. Photograph: Simon Carswell/The Irish Times

President Obama’s nominee for US ambassador to Ireland said he doesn’t expect any dramatic change in the Irish programme of economic austerity, but sa(...)

Independence Day fireworks explode over the Washington monument in Washington, DC. Photograph: EPA/Allison Shelley

America’s infatuation with the World Cup came at the perfect moment, illuminating the principle that you can lose and still advance. Once our n(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British prime minister David Cameron have spoken by telephone to discuss escalating tensions in the North following a decision to ban a contentious parade in Belfast in the coming days

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and British prime minister David Cameron have spoken by telephone to discuss escalating tensions in the North following a decisio(...)

Politicians in Northern Ireland will convene today in a fresh bid to hammer out an agreement on unresolved peace process issues. Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams will meet British prime minister David Cameron. Photograph: Alan Betson/ The Irish Times

The North’s five main parties have begun six days of talks to determine if any progress can be made on parades, flags and the past ahead of the peak o(...)