Desmond Boal: a devastating cross-examiner who rarely took a note, being gifted with total recall. Photograph:  Victor Patterson

Des Boal, who has died aged 86, was the greatest criminal defence barrister in of his generation in Northern Ireland. He was a devastating cross-exami(...)

The death has occurred of Desmond Boal, QC, who with his former friend, Ian Paisley established the Democratic Unionist Party in 1971

The death has occurred of Desmond Boal, QC, who with his former friend, Ian Paisley – from whom he later became estranged – established the Democratic(...)

TK Whitaker: realised at an early stage that a reliance on tradition and “high-sounding cliches” would not serve this State’s maturation. Photograph: David Sleator / The Irish Times

How do you write the biography of the man many regard as Ireland’s greatest public servant without it being a gushing hagiography? With considerable d(...)

Then President Mrs McAleese, accompanied by Queen Elizabeth of England and King Albert of Belgium during the official opening of the Island of Ireland Peace Park at Mesen in Belgium yesterday. Photograph: Frank Miller

In 1967, Irish historian FX Martin referred to a deliberate “historical amnesia” about southern Irish links to the first World War, in contrast to the(...)

Rev Ian Paisley: political outsider scorned by the aristocrats and merchant princes of the unionist establishment. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

On the morning of August 9th, 1971, I met the Unionist MP for Shankill, Des Boal, on Royal Avenue in Belfast (I was then working for the Irish Press g(...)

Once the fiery denouncer of any constitutional accommodation within Northern Ireland, the Rev Ian Paisley became one of the “chuckle brothers”, sharin(...)

Ian Paisley at a rally on Royal Avenue outside Belfast City Hall in 1974. “Paisley the politician defeated Paisley the preacher.” Photograph: Trevor McBride 2:19

In 2006, about a year before Ian Paisley stunned the world by going into government with Sinn Féin, I was talking to a clearly troubled senior memb(...)

Ian Paisley lived up to the many different characterisations of his personality. Photograph: The Irish Times

The death of Ian Paisley marks the end of an era. Here was a Big Man with big boots. Descriptions and characterisations vary greatly: the most divisiv(...)

Prince Andrew attended a commemoration in 2003 in Kinsale in Co Cork to mark the 400th anniversary of the Battle of Kinsale. Photograph: Jonathan Buckmaster/Getty Images

The decision to invite members of the British royal family to centenary commemorations of the 1916 Easter Rising would only be appropriate in the c(...)

Beauty and the Beast. Ian Paisley with his successor, Peter Robinson, and (centre) Nigel Dodds. Photograph: PA

It will take time to see if Northern Ireland First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson, and the DUP, are damaged by being bad-mouthed on television(...)