The reduction in the number of departments was suggested during the Stormont House Agreement. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

The DUP First Minister Peter Robinson has formally named the nine new departments that will replace the existing 12 Northern Executive departments in (...)

Former Progressive Unionist Party leader Ms Purvis said the Northern Assembly “forces” any woman who is pregnant as a result of rape or incest, and wants an abortion, to continue with that pregnancy against her will. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire.

Abortion law in Northern Ireland is draconian and in need of urgent reform, Amnesty International has said. Speaking in Belfast on Thursday when publi(...)

Northern Ireland’s First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson (second right) with (from left)  Dr Nicola Brady, research co-ordinator, Council For Justice and Peace;  Bishop Noel Treanor; Deirdre O’Rawe, regional director of Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service NI; the DUP’s Paul Givan MLA and the DUP’s Jonathan Bell during a meeting on February 24th, 2015,  to discuss the Freedom of Conscience Amendment Bill. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Press Eye/PA Wire

The Catholic Church in Northern Ireland has met representatives of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Belfast to discuss legislation which will al(...)

The North’s Minister for Health Jim Wells wants to bring back prescription charges. Photograph: Thinkstock

The North’s health minister Jim Well is proposing to reintroduce prescription charges in Northern Ireland to help pay for specialist medicines “for th(...)

 Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said some SDLP Assembly members were defying Dr Alasdair McDonnell by tabling  amendments. Photograph: PA

Fianna Fáil and the SDLP have accused Sinn Féin of opposing austerity in the South but supporting it in the North, as the consideration stage of the w(...)

SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell: the party has altered its stance on the NCA following concessions gained after “hard negotiation”. Photograph: The Irish Times

The SDLP has reversed a previous party position and decided to support the UK National Crime Agency (NCA), dubbed as Britain’s FBI.The SDLP said it ha(...)

Northern Ireland’s Minister of Finance Simon Hamilton:  “No budget would have meant no Stormont.” Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire.

The sub-text of what the North’s Minister of Finance, Simon Hamilton of the DUP, was saying in his budget statement to the Assembly was that now is th(...)

Northern Ireland DUP finance minister Simon Hamilton has warned continuing cutbacks in financial allocations from Westminster will create major financial challenges for the Executive. Photograph: PA

The North’s Minister for Finance Simon Hamilton has presented his final £10 billion 2015-2016 budget, which became possible because of the Christmas (...)

As important as the detail of the welcome deal done on a whole series of contentious topics, and the close-to £2 billion cash settlement conjured up b(...)

Theresa Villiers: agreement “
offers us a new start, and a far more hopeful future
”. Photograph: PA

The Irish and British governments and the five Northern Executive parties have concluded an agreement that Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Fla(...)