Secretary of State Theresa Villiers  and  Minister  for Foreign Afairs Charlie Flanagan:  they met in England at the weekend to discuss the impact of divisive issues such as welfare reform and parading on the future of the Stormont administration.   Photograph:  Mark Marlow/Pacemaker

The Irish and British governments have agreed that in the coming weeks it is “absolutely essential” that the Northern parties devise a “comprehensive(...)

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(...)

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has called for political talks to try to break the political logjam in Northern Ireland

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan has called for political talks to try to break the political logjam in Northern Ireland. As the DUP (...)

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan says Government is committed to holding talks to help break impasse. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

The Government is committed to holding political talks to help break the impasse in Northern Ireland, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan(...)

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina, with Alderman Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of the city of London, last night. Photograph: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography 1:58

The Government will invite a senior member of the British royal family to attend commemor(...)

Pessimism is a normal default position for many commentators in reference to Northern Ireland. And it is no different when it comes to the combined efforts of Richard Haass and Meghan O’Sullivan to find a way forward on parades, flag-flying and how to contend with the Troubles legacy.

Pessimism is a normal default position for many commentators in reference to Northern Ireland. And it is no different when it comes to the combined ef(...)

US diplomat Richard Haass, with Harvard professor Meghan O’Sullivan, speaking to the media at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast last Friday. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Has progress stopped or even reversed this year in Northern Ireland? Things are clearly better on many fronts , but violent protests over flags and pa(...)

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt: said  he hopes to meet Mr Gilmore in the near future to seek elaboration on the comments made by the Tánaiste at the British-Irish Association conference in Cambridge at the weekend

The Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt is to follow up on Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s offer that the Government would address unionist perceptions(...)

Eamon Gilmore: “The Irish State made huge efforts to curb the violence,” he said, adding that successive Irish governments had made “repeated efforts made to get talks going”. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Irish State must acknowledge that many unionists believe that it did not do enough to combat the Provisional IRA during the Troubles, Minister f(...)

Tánaiste a Eamon Gilmore: “We need to acknowledge those unionists who feel that, notwithstanding the sacrifices made by members of An Garda Síochána and the Irish Army throughout the Troubles, the Irish State could have done more to prevent the IRA’s murderous activities in Border areas,” he said in Cambridge on Saturday night.  Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has made a strong overture to unionists that the Government is prepared to investigate allegations that the State could have(...)