Alliance Party leader Naomi Long: the Northern Assembly election on March 2nd offers an opportunity “to end the Green and Orange politics for good”. Photograph: Alliance Party/PA Wire

Naomi Long calls for audit on cost of division in North across education and public services

Jim Allister, the leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice. He has been effective in forensically exposing the flaws at the heart of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme

Allister and Swann hoping unionist anger at RHI will badly damage DUP

DUP leader Arlene Foster at the launch of the party’s manifesto in a Belfast hotel on Monday. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

DUP leader sets out at launch of manifesto 10 principles to govern post-election talks

Oliver McMulllan of Sinn Féin:  different brands of unionists  want to uproot him. Photograph: Facebook

Proven survivor will need SDLP transfers to win in predominantly unionist constituency

Sinn Féin’s leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill takes part in a vigil on Friday for four IRA members killed by the SAS in February 1992. Photograph: Getty

Jim Allister predicts Republic may follow United Kingdom out of the European Union

Party leaders Mike Nesbitt,  Michelle O’Neill,  Arlene Foster,  Naomi Long and  Colum Eastwood at the UTV studios  in Belfast for Thursday’s debate.  Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

‘Cash for ash’ and influence of Gerry Adams figure strongly in five-way UTV programme

Gerry Kelly MLA: topped the poll for Sinn Féin in North Belfast  last year. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Close contest likely as six outgoing MLAs fight for reduced number of five seats

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt: “What I am trying to achieve is a stretch for some people; it’s not going to be easy.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Ulster Unionist leader will cast second preference vote for SDLP’s Seamus de Faoite

Sinn Féin leader Michelle O’Neill launches the Sinn Féin campaign for the 2017 Assembly election, in Armagh. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Michelle O’Neill addresses launch of Sinn Féin’s Northern Assembly election manifesto

Last May, when this was a six-seater constituency rather than the five-seater it is now, the DUP won three seats, Alliance two and the Ulster Unionist Party one

Alliance has established a strong foothold and is in good position to hold its two seats

Armagh chefs Sean Farnan and  Gareth Reid. Photograph: Jonathan King

Ten Northern Ireland chefs come together to transform city

Alex Attwood of the SDLP faces a major test in Belfast West. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Constituency profile: Sinn Féin poised for four seats with PBP set to retain seat

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long has battled to keep Alliance relevant in Northern Irish politics. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Interview: The Alliance leader discusses Foster’s ‘imperiousness’ and Stormont’s collapse

Bullet-riddled minibus in South Armagh where 10 protestant workmen were shot dead. Photograph:: PA Wire

Insufficient evidence to take a case against suspect arrested over murder of 10 Protestants

Suspended DUP member Jonathan Bell: “Political life has been corrupted by spin.” Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Outgoing Sinn Féin MLA backs protest over failure to implement Irish language strategy

Jonathan Bell (left) is to run as an Independent in the Assembly elections, he has announced.

Suspended DUP member alleged special advisers delayed closing down of RHI scheme

 DUP leader Arlene Foster speaking at the launch of the party’s  election campaign   in Lurgan on Monday. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

‘See you later alligator,’ Gerry Adams retorts, after Arlene Foster’s ‘crocodile’ jibe

Arlene Foster at the launch of the DUP Campaign for the 2017 Assembly Election in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

DUP leader says Michelle O’Neill was ‘handpicked’ to do bidding of SF president

Arlene Foster and her DUP party must be more fretful than Sinn Féin’s new Northern Ireland leader, Michelle O’Neill, as the election campaign kicks into a higher gear. Photograph: Reuters/PA

‘Cash for ash’ controversy badly hit DUP leader’s political value ahead of election

Jamie Bryson told The Irish Times: “There was no conspiracy. I was not coached by Sinn Féin.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

File sent to North’s Public Prosecution Service but one accused claims it is ‘nonsense’

British army soldiers on patrol in Derry in 1971. File photograph: Darde/AFP/Getty Images

Pat Finucane Centre has documents outlining four alleged torture cases in 1972

Michelle O’Neill: The new Sinn Féin leader at Stormont called it “regrettable” that the DUP is standing against those in Northern Ireland who voted to remain. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Sinn Féin says DUP and ‘Tory allies cannot be allowed to drag the North out of the EU’

Northern Secretary James Brokenshire has been accused of snubbing the Irish national anthem after he was absent for the playing of Amhrán na bhFiann at the McKenna Cup final. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

James Brokenshire attended GAA game but did not take seat until after Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill with Gerry Adams during a news conference announcing her as the replacement for Martin McGuinness in the upcoming elections, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Sinn Féin’s new leader in Northern Ireland is keen to prove she is her own woman

DUP leader Arlene Foster: rejecting charges from political opponents and the media that she lacked humility, she said: “I believe the people of Northern Ireland know exactly who I am.”   Photograph:  Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

New Sinn Féin leader in Northern Ireland calls for ‘step-change in attitude’ from DUP

Former Alliance leader David Ford: before the dissolution of Stormont he was planning to introduce a private Bill that would allow abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality. Photograph: Arthur Allison

Abortion figures for North for last two years have been lower than previous years

Forensic officers attend the scene on the Crumlin Road in Belfast where a PSNI officer was shot on Sunday night. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Dissident group says attack in Belfast not due to crisis but is a ‘continuation of activity’

Retired judge Sir Patrick Coghlin will chair  inquiry into the RHI scheme. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Sir Patrick Coghlin will not publish interim findings before elections in North

Pro-Remain supporters wave EU flags outside the supreme court in London, after  court’s ruling on Brexit vote yesterday. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Gerry Adams urges Government to negotiate special designation for North within EU

Jonathan Bell claimed a senior civil servant in the Department for the Economy told him that had DUP special advisers not interfered in the RHI scheme, its cost could have been halved. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Former minister Jonathan Bell used parliamentary privilege to make allegations

Martin McGuinness and his successor Michelle O’Neill  at Stormont on Monday. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Northern Ireland gets its third female party leader as the Tyrone politician is inaugurated

Video grab taken from the Northern Ireland Assembly of Michelle O’Neill speaking during an plenary session at Stormont earlier this month.

Decision to overlook Conor Murphy suggests handover to ‘new generation of republicans’

The scene at a petrol station on the Crumlin Road in north Belfast on Sunday night after  a police officer was shot in the arm. Photograph: PA Wire

Community officer injured in arm at filling station in attack being blamed on dissidents

Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill. Photograph: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Some names of those who benefited from RHI scheme to be revealed this week

Margaret McGuckin is hugged by her brother Kevin, who was also abused, after the publication of the Historical Institutional Abuse report. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry reveals ‘unspeakable’ damage done to children

Cardinal Seán Brady arriving to give evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry in  June  2015.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Inquiry critical of 1975 canon law investigation into the Brendan Smyth case

Alleged victims of historical institutional abuse including Edward McCann (centre cap) arrive at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Belfast for   publication of the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry report. Photograph: AFP

Evidence of sexual, physical and emotional abuse across 22 Catholic and Protestant and state run homes investigated

 Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness back in 1983. Photograph:  PA Wire

Despite crisis, former deputy first minister is optimistic, saying dialogue only way forward

Sir Anthony Hart, chairman of HIA Inquiry. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

The 2,300-page 12-volume report must deliver justice for victims, Amnesty says

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, with his wife Bernie,  addresses supporters who gathered outside his home in Derry on Thursday night.  Photograph: Trevor McBride

Republicans will miss him, but unionists with political sense may do so too

Members of Sinn Fein  in the Great Hall at Stormont, Belfast. Outgoing Minister for Finance Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has announced a public inquiry into the North’s Renewable Heat Incentive controversy.  File photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

DUP adviser resigns after being accused of exerting pressure over RHI scheme

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness leaves Bishops Gate hotel after announcing his intention not to see re-election in Derry, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Ex-deputy first minister of Northern Ireland says health and political crisis behind decision

Dr Andrew McCormick gives evidence to the public accounts committee in the Assembly, Stormont, on Wednesday. Photograph: PA Wire

Dr Andrew McCormick says likely ‘insider information’ passed on over RHI scheme

John Robinson has confirmed his now father-in-law availed of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, having earlier denied a family link to the scheme. Photograph: Getty

Former party press officer says he was unaware of father-in-law’s application to scheme

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said ‘nowhere will be more damaged’ by Brexit than Northern Ireland. Photograph: Eric Luke

Some Ministers say the promised hard Brexit will lead to significant difficulties for Ireland

Sinn Féin election poster going up outside the party’s headquarters on Belfast’s Falls Road. Photograph: Justin Kernoghan

Co Tyrone politician to forefront in arguing and defending Sinn Féin’s policy positions

Former minister for health Edwin Poots accuses opposition Assembly members of mounting a “hate campaign” against  former first minister. Photograph: Kevin Boyes

US state department urges Northern politicians to quickly restore powersharing

Scott Dewees feels he has a good grip on whatever is the essence of Belfast, particularly because he does not share the Troubles-related antipathy found among so many in the Republic: “I don’t have the personal baggage some in the South have; I just took Belfast as I found it.”

Retired film scout: ‘Belfast is a city in a country in a renaissance; what better place to be?”

Former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness  leaves the Assembly chamber on Monday. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Analysis: Sinn Féin is primed for the poll, but the DUP seems caught in the headlights

Stormont Parliament  at dusk in Belfast, Northern Ireland, January 16th, 2017. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Concerns over relations between DUP and SF potentially worsening before March 2nd vote

Northern Secretary James Brokenshire on BBC’s ‘Andrew Marr Show’: he said his concern was that an election campaign would be divisive. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

Northern Secretary ‘not contemplating’ return to direct rule after elections

British prime minister Theresa May is expected to say this week that Britain is prepared to leave both the single market and the EU’s customs union. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Theresa May expected to say Britain prepared to exit single market and customs union

DUP Minister Paul Givan: said the scheme was hugely oversubscribed. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

More than 30 Orange Order halls and loyalist bands, two GAA clubs benefited from grants

A native of Los Angeles, Scott Dewees first came to Northern Ireland 30 years ago. He now lives in a  penthouse apartment overlooking the Titanic Quarter.

‘I love the smallness of Belfast’ says Scott Dewees, who lives in the Titanic Quarter

Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster: The earliest NI secretary James Brokenshire can set a polling date is 43 days from Monday, leaving a six-week election campaign. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

If Stormont is dissolved and an election battle begins, the DUP will meet fire with fire

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt said it should not be assumed that the DUP and Sinn Féin will again emerge as the main parties in the North. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt says election should be referendum on ‘cash for ash’ debacle

 Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy (left), Michelle O’Neill (centre)  and Gerry Kelly speaking to the media at Stormont Parliament in Belfast, this week. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Minister for Health Michelle O’Neill says the Irish language will be at the front of election campaign

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire are not optimistic of a resolution to the Stormont crisis. Photograph: Eric Luke

Flanagan and Brokenshire concede ‘high probability’ of Assembly elections

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan speaks to the media at Stormont House in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Charlie Flanagan holds meetings with DUP’s Arlene Foster and members of Sinn Féin

DUP Communities Minister Paul Givan: “My decision on the Líofa Bursary Scheme was not a political decision.” Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Charlie Flanagan in Belfast for meetings with Northern Secretary James Brokenshire

This is a time when a strong political voice should be heard from Stormont to try to ensure a favourable Brexit deal for the North. Instead it seems the voices will be of electoral squabbling

Dreading another election? Just be thankful if it is just one more this year

 Northern Secretary  James Brokenshire said he was trying to determine if there was a way to avoid   elections. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Efforts continue to avert elections although main consensus is Assembly poll inevitable

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire makes a statement to the media at Stormont House in Belfast Wednesday. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Northern secretary says elections are highly likely after contacts with Sinn Féin

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin  address the media about the IRA ceasefire. Photograph: Pacemaker

‘Cash for ash’ scandal may prove too much for weakened former deputy first minister

DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster announced plans to carry out a public inquiry into the flawed “cash for ash” heating scheme which precipitated this crisis. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Sinn Féin dismissive of proposal while both governments seem resigned to poll

Northern Secretary James Brokenshire told  House of Commons on Tuesday the political situation in Northern Ireland was grave. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Jeffrey Donaldson warns North could face a return to extended period of direct rule

 DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster arrives at DUP headquarters in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Outgoing First Minister wants to start ‘cash for ash’ investigation by the end of the week

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness leaving Stormont Castle. He insisted his health was not a factor in his decision.  Photograph: Justin Kernoghan/Photopress Belfast

Deputy first minister’s announcement means Foster must cease to act as First Minister

Northern Ireland’s former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness. “His actions have meant that, at precisely the time we need our government to be active, we will have no government,” said outgoing First Minister Arlene Foster.

Deputy First Minister steps down over ‘cash for ash’ and insists his health is not a factor

There was a lot of spinning in Stormont on Monday, and the strong line from Sinn Féin was that the controversy had moved way beyond “cash-for-ash”

North looks set for a very nasty election but neither side looks willing to budge

Martin McGuinness leaves Stormont  on Monday  following his resignation. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Shock in Stormont at apparent deterioration in former deputy first minister’s health

Martin McGuinness announcing his resignation at his office in Stormont Castle on Monday. Handout photo issued by Sinn Féin.

‘Today is the right time to call a halt to the DUP’s arrogance’

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mary Lou McDonald warns of Assembly elections if First Minister does not stand aside

Ulster University, in partnership with the University of Oxford and funded with €210,800 from the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, will investigate if microbubble technology can provide a similar boost alongside traditional radiotherapy treatments. File photograph: Getty Images

Ulster University: New ‘microbubble technology’ therapy could improve options

DUP First Minister Arlene Foster remains under fire over ‘cash for ash’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Féin dismisses DUP proposals for dealing with renewable heat scheme overspend

A member of the public looks at a mural referencing the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) crisis and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster in a Belfast city centre car park. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir to meet Simon Hamilton who is planning scheme to reduce overspend to zero

A member of the public looks at a mural referencing the renewable heat incentive crisis over which First Minister Arlene Foster is being urged  by some to stand down. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Arlene Foster says her critics are ‘misogynistic’ as heat scheme row continues

DUP First Minister Arlene Foster:  Calls continue for her to stand aside over the renewable heat incentive scheme, which could result in a £400 million (€470 million) overspend for the Northern authorities. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Féin keeps pressure on Arlene Foster to resign as First Minister over ‘cash for ash’

Management at George Best Belfast City Airport claims removing the cap on departures will increase its potential to attract more European flights

Decision subject to noise-management concerns being resolved at George Best Belfast City Airport

DUP First Minister Arlene Foster. Sinn Féin chairman Declan Kearney said there was a ‘real prospect’ of elections in the North if she did not stand aside.

Party chair calls for DUP’s Arlene Foster to resign over renewable heat incentive scheme

Tyrone county manager Mickey Harte: “There was a time in the ’70s when you weren’t allowed to play, in inverted commas, foreign games and play in the GAA.” Photograph: Philip Magowan/Inpho

Playing anthem and flying tricolour at Gaelic games could cease when ‘time is right’

The most recent data shows there were 1,969 children on the child protection register in Northern Ireland. Image: iStock

The PSNI records 341 offences for cruelty to children and young people in 2015-16

Hard drugs are not the only danger: “All drugs that are not taken as prescribed by your own doctor can be lethal.” Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

PSNI officer warns against ‘recreational’ drugs and misuse of prescription medication

Deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness has said there is an overwhelming desire in the Northern Ireland community for Arlene Foster to step aside.  Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

McGuinness calls on DUP leader to stand aside pending ‘cash for ash’ scheme inquiry

A Co Down couple paid £4,850 by bank transfer for a 2010 Ford Kuga. “They have lost a sizeable sum of money and have no car to show for it”

Northern Ireland couple defrauded of almost £5,000 in fake car sale

The North’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister Arlene Foster. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

News review of 2016: All eyes on Adams as ‘cash for ash’ row becomes burning issue

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, who was in Stormont to monitor the no confidence motion in the DUP’s Arlene Foster as First Minister. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Sinn Féin president continues pressure on Arlene Foster to step aside as First Minister

A member of the Stormont security staff looks on the television feed of First Minster Arlene Foster addressing the Assembly  in Stormont. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

North’s First Minister says SDLP motion against her ‘worthy of a Carry On film’

 First Minister Arlene Foster and her DUP colleagues were able to ensure the no confidence vote over the “cash for ash” controversy would not  succeed. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Despite calls for First Minister to stand aside classic Stormont kick-to-touch seems likely

The non-domestic element of the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme  was described as “cash for ash” or “the more you burn the more you earn”. File photograph: Getty Images

For every £1 users spent on green heating systems, they got £1.60 in subsidies

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster gives a statement on her role in a botched renewable energy scheme at Parliament Buildings, Belfast. Photograph: PA

DUP leader survives ‘no confidence’ motion after Opposition parties stage walkout

First Minister Arlene Foster has flatly rejected Martin McGuinness’s call for her to ‘stand aside’ to allow an inquiry into corruption allegations. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Analysis: Sinn Féin is playing a risky game over the ‘cash for ash’ controversy

Martin McGuinnes urged  Arlene Foster to stand down during a conversation on Friday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

First Minister says she will not resign and does not take her instructions from Sinn Féin

10th July 1970: British soldiers take aim at civil rights demonstrators in the Falls Road, Belfast. File photograph: Malcolm Stroud/Express/Getty Images

Official IRA activist Joe McCann (24) was shot dead in Belfast in April 1972

Jonathan Bell and Arlene Foster accused one another of acting aggressively to each other.

Former DUP minister says he wanted to close down revised version of scheme in January

Jonathan Bell, a former minister of enterprise, trade and investment has said he faced interference when he sought to shut down the renewable heating scheme which could result in an overspend of £400 million over the next 20 years. File photograph: Getty Images

Jonathan Bell says Arlene Foster overruled wish to end plan with potential £400m overspend

Mitchell Reiss was appointed by Northern Secretary James Brokenshire. Photograph: Eric Luke

President Bush’s former special envoy one of four members of monitoring body

First Minister Arlene Foster is under pressure over a a renewable heating incentive scheme that could result in a £400 million overspend over the next 20 years. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Assembly recalled from recess as SDLP tries to put down motion of no confidence in First Minister

A claim  that weak Irish immigration checks are allowing criminals access to the UK is not well founded, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Garda Commissioner points to success of joint operations with UK security forces

First Minister Arlene Foster: said she had “nothing to hide” over the heating incentive scheme. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

First Minister says policy was good but implementation ‘went fundamentally wrong’

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