President Michael D Higgins has spoken of the responsibilities of Irish people during the current decade of centenaries. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

President says Irish people must ‘remember generously’ during the decade of centenaries

New Alliance leader Naomi Long: says predecessor David Ford left  party “in good health and in good spirits”. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

First woman leader says party’s focus must be wider than tackling sectarian division

Four men were detained on Wednesday at houses in Ballymena in Co Antrim and Coleraine in Co Derry following suspicious activity at a Co Antrim forest.

Suspects questioned in relation to extreme right-wing attitudes on northeastern Europe

Sinn Féin Minister for Health Michelle O’Neill said her  plan is based on the 10-year “roadmap” proposed by an expert panel led by former Basque Country minister for health Prof Rafael Bengoa. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Health system will consume 90% of Executive budget if no action is taken, warns Minister

There was a steady stream of customers at Ashers bakery on Royal Avenue in central Belfast on Tuesday afternoon. Apart from a French family, the people buying breads, cakes, sandwiches, sausage rolls and buns were familiar with the latest chapter of the so-called ‘gay cake’ case.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Customers at Belfast bakery very opinionated on case, but many unwilling to give names

Gareth Lee sued Ashers Bakery after it refused to bake a cake depicting Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie below the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”.

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell describes ruling as ‘defeat for freedom of expression’

The proposed design for a re-developed Casement Park, as unveiled today by Ulster GAA. Photo: Ulster GAA

The new height, scale and capacity are all reduced from the previous stadium design

 President of the Ulster Farmers’ Union Barclay Bell: “If we went out with a very negative message at the moment, farmers would be in despair.” Photograph: Alan Betson

An effective tariff war with Brussels is a likely harvest for many farmers in Northern Ireland

 Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt during the party’s annual conference at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Analysis: Unionist conference is the birthplace of a new alternative to ‘Marlene’

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt told his party conference Saturday: “Vote me, you get [SDLP leader] Colum [Eastwood]. Vote Colum, you get me”. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Unionist party leader Mike Nesbitt says alliance will work against DUP and Sinn Féin

Charlie Flanagan: “It is important that we all work together constructively to safeguard the interests of the people of this island,” the Minister told the Derry Chamber of Commerce. Photograph: Eric Luke

Politicians need to move out of their ‘comfort zone’ to deal with challenges, Minister says

Former Alliance leader David Ford in conversation with Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald. Mr Ford is considering his role within his Presbyterian congregation after being dismissed as an elder. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Former Alliance chief dismissed from Presbyterian Second Donegore Church in Antrim

British astronaut Tim Peake says he believes alien life exists in the cosmos and that humans will set foot on Mars. Photograph: John Linton/PA Wire.

On visit to Northern Ireland, space veteran says he believes humans will walk on Mars

Sinn Féin protesters  at Queen’s University Belfast on Tuesday. Photograph: Tam Donlon

Party activists stage demonstration against army event at Queen’s University Belfast

In letters dated last Friday, October 14th, Theresa  May responded to the joint letter sent to her by Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness on August 10th last setting out their concerns over the implications of Brexit for Northern Ireland. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May responds to letter sent by Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness in August

Former Deputy First Minister  Seamus Mallon (R) with former SDLP  leader John Hume: Mr Mallon’s wife Gertrude has died after a long illness. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Wife of former Deputy First Minister Seamus Mallon described as ‘pillar of strength’ for SDLP

A stuffed British bulldog toy is held by a Pro-EU demonstrator outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Time to build an Irish solution to this European problem, says leader Colum Eastwood

Government said it would be inappropriate to pre-empt the findings of the HIA Inquiry before they are published in January. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Northern Executive urged to act quickly to compensate victims after HIA Inquiry

 Chief executive of the Northern Ireland Fish Producers’ Organisation Dick James: “Unless our politicians are extremely weak in their negotiating, then we have got a hell of a strong hand to play here.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Reduced quotas, red tape and restrictions have been disastrous, industry leader says

Naomi Long said, “If elected, I will not only be the first woman to lead the party,  I will also be the first leader younger than Alliance itself.”

East Belfast MLA due to be formally ratified on October 26th

 Orange Order grand secretary Drew Nelson. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Unionist leader described as a ‘pragmatic’ and ‘modernising force’ following his death

Victims’ rights campaigner Raymond McCord, who is challenging the constitutional authority of the British government to take Northern Ireland out of the European Union . File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Belfast judge considers arguments on how quitting EU would affect Northern Ireland

David Ford was the minister of justice from 2010 until earlier this year when Alliance decided not to take up an offer from the DUP and Sinn Féin to hold on to that post. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

South Antrim Assembly member will formally stand down on 15th anniversary of leadership

Campaigners from a group called Border Communities Against Brexit outside Belfast’s High Court where a legal challenge to Brexit is taking place. Photograph: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

Lawyer for British government defends right to fully implement referendum vote to quit EU

Victims’ rights campaigner Raymond McCord, who is challenging the constitutional authority of the British government to take Northern Ireland out of the European Union . File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Lawyer says Belfast Agreement gives North a ‘veto’ over any constitutional change to its status

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Martin McGuinness says Brexit is not a “done deal” for Northern Ireland

Following their meeting with British prime minister Theresa May at Stormont in July, Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness  gave separate, edgy press conferences which highlighted their diametrically opposing positions on Brexit. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

The North has been plunged into uncertainty and the prospect of having to reconcile the irreconcilable

The Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has again insisted that as a majority of people in Northern Ireland - 56 per cent - voted to remain in the European Union that vote “must be recognised and respected in any negotiations” on Brexit.

Martin McGuinness says British government ‘has no plan’ and ‘no idea what Brexit means’

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams plans to take legal action against the BBC over a programme which alleged he sanctioned the killing in 2006 of Denis Donaldson (right), a former senior party official who turned out to be a British agent. Photographs: PA.

‘Spotlight’ programme alleged Sinn Féin leader sanctioned killing of Denis Donaldson

Marie Heaney and her children, Michael, Christopher and Catherine, at the official opening of the new arts and literary centre in Bellaghy, Co Derry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

£4.25m Bellaghy facility a permanent exhibition about life and work of Nobel Laureate

File photograph of PSNI  officers investigating  a car. Co-operation between the Garda and the PSNI ‘has undoubtedly saved lives’, the North’s Minister of Justice, Claire Sugden, has said. File photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

North and South law enforcement agencies gather at conference on cross-Border crime

Archbishop Eamon Martin said: ‘I have always maintained that the Catholic Church must fully accept its responsibilities to those who have suffered abuse.’ Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Catholic Primate Eamon Martin said he was ‘taken aback’ by account of July meeting

A loyalist protester gestures to the police in north Belfast in July 14th, 2013, after an Orange Parade was blocked from marching past the nationalist Ardoyne area. File photograph: Cathal McNaughton

Parades Commission allows organisation to finish the return leg of Twelfth of July march

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness: said the issue was a “non-story”, since the report’s warnings were well-aired during the campaign. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Alliance Party and SDLP say Stormont civil servants’ report pointed to how quitting EU could damage Northern Ireland

The seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Stormont, in Belfast. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill.

Investigation into Project Eagle must progress without risk of prejudice, body says

Paddy O’Flaherty: Described by colleages as a “fantastic” radio broadcaster. Photograph: Trevor Ferris

Politicians and colleagues pay tribute to popular journalist noted for ‘great voice’

Men whose last sexual contact with another man was more than 12 months ago will be free to donate blood if they meet the other donor selection criteria.

Minister Michelle O’Neill urges every donor to fully comply with blood donation rules

Daithí McKay: the former North Antrim MLA was forced to resign

Activists protest against treatment of former Assembly member Daithí McKay

Arlene Foster said if evidence comes forward that Máirtín Ó Muilleoir was implicated in the alleged collusion against Mr Robinson then his position would be “entirely untenable”. File photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

DUP also asks PSNI to examine claims Daithí McKay involved in conspiracy to damage Peter Robinson

Joseph Murphy, a victim of the 1971 British army shootings in Ballymurphy, west Belfast, and his wife Mary, who were buried together after dying on the same day, 45 years apart. Photograph: Family Handout/PA Wire

Mary Murphy buried with husband Joseph, one of 11 victims of Ballymurphy Massacre in 1971

PSNI officers remove items following searches  in Larne, Co Antrim, yesterday, after the arrest of a Royal Marine for questioning in connection with  two major dissident republican arms finds. Photgraph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Soldier questioned on suspicion of preparation for acts of terrorism in Northern Ireland

The Northern Assembly’s fiance committee called on Sinn Féin Minister of Finance Máirtín  Ó Muilleoir should stand aside pending the outcome of an investigation. File photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Stormond committee says Sinn Féin MLA should stand aside pending outcome of investigation

PSNI chief constable George Hamilton told a Twitter user: “You’re allowed to leave & seek another job – nobody is asking you to stay.”

George Hamilton accused of ‘stunning misjudgment’ in message about police

Concerns have been raised about governance and clinical services at Marie Stopes International.

Care Quality Commission raises concerns about service’s operations

Former Sinn Féin Northern Assembly committee chairman Daithí McKay, who has resigned as an MLA following allegations that he communicated with blogger Jamie Bryson before the  latter gave explosive evidence about  Nama dealings in Northern Ireland. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

If Daithí McKay row is found to be larger SF plot, trust between top NI parties could crack

Peter Robinson: rejected claim at the time as a “scripted performance”. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Féin insists it was not involved in wider conspiracy against Peter Robinson

The chair of the Northern Ireland finance committee, Sinn Féin’s Daithi McKay

Daithi McKay accused of coaching loyalist in how to make allegations over huge Nama deal

Two sisters have settled sexual harassment cases for £30,000 against KFC in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters.

Young women complained male co-worker touched and pinched them and exposed himself

The representative body for PSNI officers has called for an inquiry into the operation of the office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. File photograph: Getty Images

Lobby group complains of ‘sloppy and careless procedures’ in Police Ombudsman office

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has accused dissident republicans of being ‘at war’ with the nationalist community and challenged them to enter into dialogue in order to end their violence. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Sinn Féin leader speaking after hunger strike posters defaced and bonfires in Derry and Belfast

David Hockney in 1966. Photograph: Jane Bown/PA Wire

First major presentation of English artist’s work in Ireland concentrates on early work

IRA hunger striker: Laurence McKeown. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Weekend Read: One night 40 years ago Laurence McKeown ambushed an RUC Land Rover. He was jailed for 16 years. Now a playwright, he(...)

Local residents Jeanie Copeland and Deirdre Hughes in front of railings and landscaped greenery which has replaced a peace wall on Crumlin Road, Belfast.  Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

Taking down wall on Crumlin Road ‘powerful, symbolic’, says Martin McGuinness

Arlene Foster: she denied the DUP decision to support the Leave campaign in the Brexit referendum was a mistake

Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness defend letter to May highlighting ‘challenges’ for North

 Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness  and First Minister Arlene Foster: joint letter to British prime minister Theresa May to say they were reassured by her commitment to the North. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

North leaders warn that Border must not be exploited to undermine political settlement

They classified documents were entitled, “Northern Ireland: Handling Mr Haughey”; “Handling Mr Haughey II”; and “Handling Mr Haughey on Northern Ireland - Tactics”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Northern Ireland Office fretted that FF leader might renege on 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement

Prominent Ulster Defence Association figure John Boreland, who was murdered with a shotgun outside his north Belfast home. Photograph: PSNI/PA Wire

Prominent UDA figure John Boreland was warned he was under loyalist death threat

A police van at the scene in Sunningdale Gardens, north Belfast, after prominent loyalist John Boreland was shot dead. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

After Sunday’s shooting PSNI will be planning how to deal with yet another paramilitary feud

Jim Mills, Mervyn Reilly, Angela Graham and Alan Madill at their Protestant Hall in Drum, Co Monaghan. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

Residents in Drum, Co Monaghan, are eager to protect their culture and traditions

 Adrianne says she hopes to rejoin the Orange Order in the women’s lodges. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Woman says she moved to Northern Ireland to overcome stress of being born male

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson MSP poses in front of a mural titled ‘Love Wins’ in Belfast, where she delivered the Amnesty International Belfast Pride Lecture on the theme Marriage Equality: From Scotland With Love. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ruth Davidson delivers Amnesty lecture in Belfast on marriage equality

A general view of Belleek in Co Fermanagh where a police investigation has commenced into an incident in which a gun was fired in the village on Tuesday. Image: Google Streetview.

PSNI says shot aimed at van of contractor working at hotel in Co Fermanagh village

DUP Minister for Communities Paul Givan. His draft Bill would see some alterations to the current pub-opening hours in Northern Ireland

Both vintners and cleric criticise proposed legislation to liberalise licensing laws

Eric Kuhne at the launch of Titanic Belfast. He has died aged 64.  Photograph: Titanic Belfast/Flickr

Texas designer’s tourist attraction ‘celebrates five centuries of city’s maritime legacy’

The scene of the crash in Ballygar, Galway, where Tina and Joey Kelly were pronounced dead. Photograph: Hany Marzouk

Mother and her 14-year-old son were among those killed in fatal incidents

British prime minister Theresa May flanked by Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness,  with whom she had separate meetings at Stormont Castle. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Theresa May on first NI visit as PM urges ‘practical solution’ to Brexit difficulties

MacGill Summer School director Joe Mulholland with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: North West Newspix

MacGill Summer School director says there is an ‘absolute hunger’ for discussion on Ireland

Senior NI politicians have said they would seek a judicial review if the PM “fails to commit to comply with the UK’s constitutional and legal obligations in deciding whether and when to trigger article 50”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Group demands Belfast Agreement be legally protected before UK move to trigger EU exit

Speakers Conor Brady, Josephine Feehily, Jim O’Callaghan  and Robert Olsen  at Glenties. Photograph: North West Newspix

Restructure could free up 1,500 gardaí, head of inspectorate tells MacGill Summer School

Heather Humphreys said she did “not believe it is feasible to simply promote the development of cities and large urban areas, while rural areas are left to decline”. File photograph: Dara MacDónaill

Heather Humphreys tells MacGill Summer School of ‘action plan for rural Ireland’

 Prof. Alan Barrett, ESRI economist and director:   “If people remain in the workforce for longer, this would have positive impacts on national output.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

ESRI director says older people working longer need not mean fewer jobs for young

The Minister for Health told the MacGill Summer School that “we need to stop running the health service based on election cycles”. Photographs: Reuters

McGill Summer School: Simon Harris says health staff fed up with piecemeal reform

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has said he intends to link social welfare rates to the cost of living or average earning to ensure that people dependent on the payments do not see their standard of living fall in the future.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Minister tells MacGill School impact of economic collapse worse than any statistics can show

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: when he said Ireland was a special case, he signalled we did not “recognise the urgency” with which environmental action is required, said Senator Grace O’Sullivan. Photograph: Stephen Collins

Grace O’Sullivan says Ireland has failed to tackle climate change

Director general of Europol Rob Wainwright:  “Highly challenging” environment for the security services. Photograph: North West Newspix

Director general of Europol tells MacGill Summer School Islamic State in decline

Brendan Halligan, chairman and  founder of the Institute of International and European Affairs: “Courage” required to implement the Hume proposal. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Brendan Halligan says time to consider John Hume’s ‘condominium’ proposal for NI

Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness. File Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

SDLP leader says NI membership of European Union must not be altered

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe: “Money will only follow the services and the projects that are worthy of funding.” Photograph: North West Newspix

Minister for Public Expenditure tells MacGill School Government will pursue value for money

Tom Parlon called for an independent commission to focus on improved infrastructure .Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Construction Industry Federation chief Tom Parlon calls for EU to relax spending rules

At the MacGill Summer School, CSO director general Padraig Dalton said:   ‘GDP and GNP, although required internationally, no longer provide a sufficient understanding of the domestic economy.’ Photograph: Davd Sleator/The Irish Times

Director general says GDP figures, leading to ‘leprechaun economics’ claims, compiled correctly

“If you are a Trotskyist revolutionary this issue is brilliant,” Green Party leader Eamon Ryan told the MacGill Summer School

Green Party leader tells MacGill Summer School militant left exploited water issue

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin has said it is ‘quite possible’ that Gerry Adams will no longer be party leader in five years’ time. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Regina Doherty also claims she is a ‘loyal supporter’ of Enda Kenny at MacGill event

 Undated handout photo issued by the PSNI of Joanne Thompson, who was found by a relative at her home in Newtownards on Wednesday morning. Photograph: PSNI/PA Wire

Detectives examining possible link to events at an Eleventh Night bonfire

James Brokenshire, who campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU, replaces Theresa Villiers as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Villiers’s replacement a close ally of Theresa May having worked with her in home office

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir: “All my relevant interests are declared; and rules regarding gifts and hospitality are adhered to. I am satisfied that I am fully compliant with the code”

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir previously stood down as media group director to ‘focus on ministerial job’

 Stephen Gethins told an SDLP Brexit forum in Belfast the decision of the majority in Northern Ireland and Scotland to stay in the EU must be respected as much as the decision of those in England and Wales to quit. File photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

Scottish National Party MP Stephen Gethins says vote of both countries must be respected

Lance Corporal Ian Malone served in the Ist Battalion of the Irish Guards.

Ballyfermot mother used visit to her late son’s regiment to condemn Iraq war

Steve Aiken, now an Ulster Unionist MLA for South Antrim, was a commander in the British Royal Navy and was involved in the planning for the invasion of Iraq. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

‘You watch your comrades being killed for something that never should have happened’

Carole Daly and Hollie Lewis: the scientific officers were awarded £25,000 and £22,500 respectively. Photograph: PA

Women scientific officers told male officer on same grade was the ‘top dog’

“If there is any attempt to construct a hard Border I think the passions are so high that the people will pull it down.” Cars crossing between Co Derry and the Republic. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Derry figure Denis Bradley says nationalists don’t believe hard Border will ever return

Bernadette McAliskey: the lifelong republican and socialist was conflicted about how to vote in EU referendum but went for Remain based on practical reasons. Photograph: Paula Geraghty

Immigrants in Dungannon are very concerned about what might change and when

“It’s like Margaret Thatcher. She got rid of the miners, the dockers, you name it, and they still voted her back in again”

Brexit result not hugely occupying people’s minds on either side of sectarian divide in north Belfast

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan: “The central plank of our negotiations will be the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland and the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Charlie Flanagan holds talks with NI leaders and says State hope to avoid Border controls

Queen Elizabeth  and the   Duke of Edinburgh travel by steam train along the north Antrim coast from Coleraine to Bellarena, on the second day of her visit to Northern Ireland.  Photograph: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA Wire

Queen Elizabeth keeps her counsel as she visits North Antrim constituency

Arlene Foster: ‘The priority of the Executive will be to ensure that Northern Ireland’s interests are protected and advanced and that new opportunities are developed as part of any new arrangements,’ she said. Photograph: Eric Luke

Northern Ireland Executive begins to draw up plans to deal with withdrawal from EU

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Hillsborough Castle. The British monarch starts a two-day visit to the province. Photograph: Getty Images

Monarch holds separate meetings with DUP’s Arlene Foster and SF’s McGuinness

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams give their reaction to the EU referendum vote at a press conference outside Stormont Castle. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Landscape different following vote to leave and effects could change opinion on UK

Sir Patrick Mayhew (centre) photographed in 1996 as he launched the new Bar Library Directory at Belfast High Court with Sir Brian Hutton, Lord Chief Justice (right) and Eugene Grant, Chairman General Council of the Bar in 1996. Photograph: Brian Little/PA

Mayhew was the longest-serving secretary of state for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland fans cheer during the Euro 2016 round of sixteen football match Wales vs Northern Ireland at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. Photo: Getty Images

Green and White Army made name for themselves with raucous noise through campaign

Northern Ireland fans: Green and white Army ready to cheer on the side against Wales. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Defeat to mean mass exit by fans from Euro 2016 – a benign version of the fall of Saigon

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