Minister for Education Joe McHugh among the expected speakers. Photograph: Alan Betson

Senior Dáil figures to speak but unionists not invited because of their Brexit stance

Kate Burns on hard Brexit: “There is so much misinformation and naivety about it.” Photograph: Kate Burns/PA Wire

‘My market is Europe and I don’t see why I should look beyond that,’ says Kate Burns

Alliance health spokeswoman Paula Bradshaw MLA said there was a need to “break the taboo” around alcohol addiction. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Politicians call for action to tackle alcohol abuse

 Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster said: ‘Mrs May will now be able to demonstrate to the Brussels’ negotiators that changes are required if any deal is to command the support of parliament’ Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/ EPA

DUP will oppose Jeremy Corbyn’s no confidence motion in British government

Sammy Wilson, DUP MP in  his constituency office in Larne, Co Antrim: “For 40 years the IRA tried to separate us from the rest of UK but failed. In my opinion this agreement would separate us from the rest of the UK.”. Photograph: Liam McBurney for The Irish Times

Backstop must be scrapped for DUP MPs to support May, MP says

British Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay has said the British government would accept an amendment from a Tory MP aimed at limiting the duration of the backstop Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A ‘time-limited backstop is not a backstop’ says Sinn Féin on interpreted one-year cap

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said he held an ‘open and frank discussion’ with a DUP delegation led by party leader Arlene Foster but failed to shift their insistence that the disputed Brexit backstop should be dropped. Photograph: PressEye/PA Wire.

Foster hopes Government recognises ‘there is a better way’ than disputed withdrawal deal

Theresa May speaking during prime minister’s questions in the House of Commons in London on January 9th. Photograph: UK Parliament/Mark Duffy/PA Wire

UK parliament forces prime minister to quickly present ‘plan B’ if withdrawal deal rejected

Tánaiste Simon Coveney:  “very optimistic” Stormont will be restored before the end of the year and “optimistic” a no-deal Brexit will  be avoided.  Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters.

‘We don’t have a generation’s worth of time to waste,’ says Coveney of Stormont limbo

Locked gates at Stormont Buildings in Co Down, east of Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

DUP denounces move by British government as ‘cosmetic and meaningless’

Sir John Gillen said lengthy interviews with victims of serious sexual crimes hugely enhanced his knowledge of the situation. Photograph: Aaron McCracken

Society cannot afford not to implement comprehensive change, Sir John Gillen says

Concerns have been raised about the possibility of civil disorder arising from new Border arrangements under a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

PSNI requested reinforcements to deal with any trouble that arises from no-deal Brexit

British environment secretary  Michael Gove   said that in particular smaller farmers would be harmed if the withdrawal agreement were rejected. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Secretary says such outcome could lead to tariffs of more than 40% on meat

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has with deputy leader Nichola Mallon written to party members assuring them that any relationship with Fianna Fáil would be for the party to endorse or reject. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Colum Eastwood and Nichola Mallon aware ‘change won’t be comfortable for some’

Fianna Fáil and SDLP leaders Micheál Martin and Colum Eastwood hope to start a project that will  “evolve” into a formal link-up of the two parties, according to sources.

‘Focus will be on co-operation and partnership . . . rather than any talk of a merger’

 DUP leader Arlene Foster says legal text of the withdrawal agreement must be watertight for the United Kingdom. Photograph: Reuters

Unionist leaders remain united in their opposition to proposed Irish backstop

Micheál Martin:  he has  tried to calm nerves without giving too much away

Losing the SDLP name will rankle with many members of the party

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin (left) and his SDLP counterpart Colum Eastwood have been keeping the detail on a party merger secret from most of their own party members. File photographs: The Irish Times/Reuters

‘Significant’ announcement expected to take place early in 2019

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds: “Hypocrisy of those espousing the current withdrawal agreement with its trap of a backstop has been completely exposed.”

Dodds: ‘Even in the event of a so-called no-deal scenario a hard border won’t happen’

A truck passes a Brexit billboard in Jonesborough, Co. Armagh, on the northern side of the Border. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Stormont head says plans must be in place to address potential disruption

 Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland George Hamilton, who has said more than 300 new police officers and staff are to be recruited in Northern Ireland by 2020 for Brexit preparations. File Photograph: PA Wire

Police Federation warns more money may be required in event of hard exit from EU

Bedfordshire Police Chief Constable Jon Boutcher speaks to the media in Belfast to give an update on the Stakeknife investigation.Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

British police officer Jon Boutcher says he would be furious if there are no prosecutions

Freddie Scappaticci in west Belfast in 2003. He has been named as the British agent code-named Stakeknife. He denies this. Photograph: Pacemaker

‘We are going where the evidence takes us,’ says head of inquiry into British army agent

Darren Moore was severely beaten  in a pub in Doagh, Co Antrim in March 2017. Photograph: Alan Lewis

Victim and witnesses would not cooperate with PSNI investigation

DUP leader Arlene Foster attends the launch of A Better Deal in London, Britain. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

The party seems to be considering extreme measures in order to block the existing deal

Peadar Tóibín:  local elections in May “will be the foundation of our growth in the future”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

‘There is an avalanche of support coming in our direction. This is a movement that is starting to happen’

Police attending the scene of a suspected shooting in West Belfast Glen Road close to St Mary’s grammar School. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Jim Donegan was targeted while he waited to collect his teenage son

Alan Frame’s beautifully illustrated book contains many stories about its alumni who include writers John Hewitt, Robert Greacen and Glenn Patterson; artists Paul Henry, Basil Blackshaw and Colin Davidson; concert pianist Barry Douglas; actors Jamie Dornan and James Ellis, and stained-glass artist Wilhemina Geddes, who has a crater named after her on Mercury. Above, detail from the book’s cover

New illustrated book celebrates 150th anniversary of Methody in Northern capital

Nigel Dodds said the advice of the British attorney general Geoffrey Cox QC “vindicates the DUP opposition to the backstop” and was “devastating for the prime minister”. Photograph:  AFP/Getty Images

Hard border is a ‘practical, political, physical impossibility’, says Gregory Campbell

A still from CCTV footage issued by  the PSNI of the suspected gunman who murdered Jim Donegan on the Glen Road in West Belfast on Tuesday.  Photograph: PSNI/PA Wire

‘There is no place in a civilised society for such vicious and hostile actions which endanger the lives of all within the communit(...)

Police attending the scene of a shooting close to St Mary’s Grammar School, west Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Dissident republicans blamed for killing of man as children were leaving the school

Secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in central London on  November 26th Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

DUP describes Sinn Féin as ‘little more than glorified spectators’ in Brexit debate

The PSNI has confirmed it is investigating allegations of ‘exploitation and criminality’ affecting the Roma community in Northern Ireland.

Head of representative group allegedly threatened to have people who speak to authorities taken ‘out of the country’

Theresa May will try to convince the Commons to back the Brexit deal in a December 11th vote. Photograph: AP

DUP claims Brexit legal advice would expose Theresa May as a ‘liar’

Journalists Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey in foreground with their solicitors Niall Murphy and John Finucane arriving at Musgrave police station in Belfast. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

NUJ chief describes continuing case against Birney and McCaffrey as ‘travesty of justice’

CCTV from the incident in Castleblayney where a vehicle collided with a parked car causing the death of Stephen Marron.

‘Devoted’ husband and father of two was killed by man fleeing gardaí

“We cannot afford to sleepwalk into a situation where, at the last minute, officers are redeployed from cities and towns.” Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Getty Images

PSNI representative body says ‘decisions overdue’ to prepare for upcoming challenges

British prime minister Theresa May visited Queen’s University in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/Reuters

British prime minister says everyone knows why Sinn Féin MPs don’t take Westminster seats

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds on stage at the DUP annual party conference in Belfast on Saturday. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

DUP conference: Most notable moment was Arlene Foster’s abject apology over cash for ash

DUP leader Arlene Foster at her party’s    annual conference at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Belfast.  Photograph: Michael Cooper/PA

Foster also issues abject apology over ‘cash for ash’ scheme , saying lessons will be learned

The DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds called on the UK prime minister Theresa May to ‘bin the backstop’.

Dodds says DUP ‘will be tried and tested like never before’ over Brexit in coming days

DUP leader Arlene Foster,  UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond and DUP leader at Westminster Nigel Dodds  at Crown Plaza Hotel in Belfast . Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Philip Hammond and Liam Fox visit fails to soften DUP stance on withdrawal agreement

   British Labour MP Conor McGinn, outside Windle Labour Club in St Helens in 2015

Labour’s Conor McGinn will not support draft agreement as ‘it is bad for St Helens’

Former first minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson made his comments at an event at the Methodist Centre at Knock in east Belfast on Thursday. File photograph: Queen’s University Belfast/PA Wire

Former DUP leader says he ‘couldn’t care less about Irish language’ and urged compromise

Boris Johnson:  a much-needed diversion from the current gloom. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Torrid time: Stormont’s collapse, Brexit, RHI scandal – and Foster’s leadership in question

DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson. File photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

DUP says ‘aspirational’ document drafted to mitigate the damage of withdrawal deal

Former Ulster and Ireland rugby player Paddy Jackson outside Belfast Crown Court after being found not guilty of rape and sexual assault . Photograph: Pacemaker Press

Rape defendants should not be allowed remain anonymous, says Sir John Gillen

People taking part in a protest in Dublin, in support of the woman at the centre of the Belfast rape trial after its conclusion. Photograph: Tom Honan/PA Wire

Confidence-building measures for complainants ‘who fear the cruel glare of public exposure’ are vital

Since British prime minister Theresa May revealed details of the UK’s divorce deal, there has been  growing support from business groups in Northern Ireland.

UK draft Brexit agreement finds support among large number of business bodies in NI

 Northern secretary Karen Bradley: told business leaders the draft deal was no  threat to North’s union with Britain. Photograph:  Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

DUP leader says Taoiseach’s remarks show Border has only been EU ‘negotiating tactic’

Northern  Secretary Karen Bradley speaking to business leaders during an event at Belfast Metropolitan College. ‘This is the best deal for the United Kingdom.’  Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Northern Secretary dismisses unionist claims that draft deal is a threat to ‘integrity’ of UK

Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Northern secretary Karen Bradley rejects Dodds’s view that draft deal threatens union

British prime minister Theresa May hopes to travel to Brussels this week to sign off on a political declaration on the future relationship between Britain and the EU. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

No preferential treatment for EU citizens after Brexit, UK prime minister says

 Arlene Foster: particularly annoyed by meeting between Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley and the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

DUP leader understood to have warned business they were being exploited politically

Some 23 Conservative MPs have publicly said they submitted letters of no confidence in Mrs May. This is still short of the required 48 to trigger a no-confidence vote, although leading pro-Brexit campaigner Steve Baker said the party was “pretty close” to reaching that number

Prime minister gets boost after pro-Brexit minister Michael Gove decided not to resign, and trade secretary Liam Fox backed her

Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann: “The DUP were asleep at the wheel.”  File photograph: Peter Morrison/PA

‘Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney may yet lead to a place where none of us want to go’

 Theresa May reacts during a news conference at Downing Street in London.

Concern in Dublin for May’s prospects as ministers resign and MPs move to oust her

Karen Bradley speaks during a press conference at the Grand Central Hotel after meeting  business leaders to discuss the draft Brexit deal.  Photograph:  David Young/PA Wire

Business leaders in Belfast tell Karen Bradley ‘any deal is better than no deal’

Nigel Dodds, MP,  a committed Brexiteer,  with DUP leader Arlene Foster,  who  never gave any sense that she was emotionally or ideologically committed to Brexit prior to the referendum. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ardent Brexiteers Nigel Dodds and Sammy Wilson leading the anti-EU charge

The bottom line from the unseen agreement, said Sammy Wilson, was that Northern Ireland was going to be treated differently than the rest of the United Kingdom. Above, speaking  at the ‘Leave Means Rally’  in Bournemouth, England, last month. Photograph:  Matt Cardy/Getty Images

‘In Northern Ireland it can be difficult for many unionists to heed political and business calls for cool heads’

Arlene Foster: “There were solutions out there but unfortunately that was not the attitude that came from either the Irish Government or the European Union.” Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

DUP leader warns of ‘consequences’ if Theresa May presses ahead with draft deal

 Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin: ‘We must remember that the hurdles we have overcome in the past are much bigger than any we face today.’

Fianna Fáil leader says Brexit has undermined trust that was built up over decades

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds said the party would be holding to its long-stated position – which is that it would not accept any Brexit deal that suggested some form of border down the Irish Sea. Photograph: Eric Luke

EU exit deal must preserve UK constitutional integrity, Dodds says

The man now in custody was also  arrested for possession of cannabis and theft of a motor vehicle

Man (28) arrested on suspicion of murder of Pauline Kilkenny in Enniskillen

Belfast solicitor John Finucane (left) is to stand for Sinn Féin in Belfast in next May’s local government elections.  Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Solicitor increased party’s vote in North Belfast last year by more than 5,000 votes

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Belfast seminar hears no deal concerns of tourism, sports and arts sectors

Queens University Belfast historian, Professor Liam Kennedy said he had  ‘little doubt that mothers who had miscarriages or still-births suffered mental anguish as a result of the death of an unbaptised foetus or still-birth’. File photograph: Alan Betson

Catholics in Ireland from 1960s onwards found idea of limbo incredible and even cruel, says historian

Austrian artist Nikolaus Gansterer, winner of ‘Ireland’s Turner Prize’, with Anne McReynolds, chief executive of MAC Belfast. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Press Eye

£20,000 MAC International prize presented to Nikolaus Gansterer at ceremony in Belfast

Suspects released on bail pending further police inquiries

The DUP leader Arlene Foster said Mary Lou McDonald had fundamental questions to answer “following Sinn Féin’s hysterical response to John Downey’s arrest”. Photograph:   Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Downey facing possible extradition to face charges in relation to the killings of two UDR soldiers in IRA bombing

Dr Kurt Hubner: Irish unification would provide the “dynamic” that would lead to greater productivity, higher output and increased investment where the Republic could absorb such costs. Above, Hubner at the launch of the report in Belfast. Photograph: Rebecca Black/PA

Unity could benefit Ireland by more than €23 billion up to 2025, researchers claim

 Mary Robinson said she  did not want to “say anything that would cause any sort of waves” while “very delicate discussions” were taking place on Brexit. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Former president says British-Irish relations ‘much more fraught’ than in recent past

Briege Voyle, the daughter of a mother of eight killed in shootings involving British soldiers, outside the coroner’s court in Belfast. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

Families welcome announcement, say they hope hearings will bring truth about killings

Jean McConville  with three of her children shortly before she disappeared in 1972

Author Patrick Radden Keefe's 'Say Nothing' explores a killing that still resonates

Lancashire-born artist Neil Shawcross has gifted his complete “Writers of Belfast” collection to Belfast City Council in appreciation of his “home” city.

Exhibition celebrates Belfast writers and musicians

Political murals on  a wall in Belfast. Photograph: Chris Carmichael/New York Times

Independent Reporting Commission says paramilitarism remains a ‘stark reality’

European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier walks with UUP MEP Jim Nicholson prior to a meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium October 9th, 2018. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/Reuters

Jim Nicholson tells UUP members he voted ‘with the head not with the heart’

Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann. Photograph: Peter Morrison/PA Wire.

UUP chief says Northern politics ‘deeply broken’ with no return of devolution in sight

Two-thirds of women polled in Northern Ireland wanted the abortion issue dealt with in the North and not through the House of Lords and the House of Commons. File photograph: PA

Two-thirds of women in North say any changes to legislation a matter for Northern Ireland people and its politicians

Lord Empey wants  the British government to  use its veto on the UN Security Council to gain commitments about compensation before it would agree to the unfreezing of the Libyan assets in England.

British should block release of frozen Libyan assets, says Reg Empey

A still image from the ‘Ending the Harm’ campaign which aims to raise awareness of paramilitary-style shootings in Northern Ireland.

Some 87 people in North were attacked by paramilitaries in 2017/18

DUP leader Arlene Foster: “I fully appreciate the risks of a ‘no deal’ but the dangers of a bad deal are worse.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Anyone doubting party leaders’ resolve on Brexit should think carefully, Foster warns

Suzanne Lacy mapped the Border using a variety of yellow lines.

US visual artist Suzanne Lacy worked with 300-plus people for Ulster Museum project

About 90 per cent of lamb produced in Northern Ireland is exported.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

North’s sheep sector faces ‘major problems’, says Upper Bann MP David Simpson

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster:  ready for a no-deal scenario, which she expects to be the likeliest one. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/AFP/Getty

DUP leader adamant proposed compromise threatens union integrity and expects no deal

Hillary Clinton following a ceremony at Queen’s University Belfast where she was awarded an honorary degree. Photograph: Brian Lawless/ PA Wire

Interim executive could deal with Brexit and resolve political deadlock – Hillary Clinton

Gerry Moriarty visited Ashers minutes after the London Supreme Court ruling. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.

Predominant view on Royal Avenue in ‘gay cake’ case in favour of the bakery

Northern Secretary Karen Bradley: has ran a consultation on addressing the legacy of the North’s past

Former Northern secretaries argue better to spend £150m on victims and survivors

Michelle O’Neill:  “We did not hear anything new from Karen Bradley that would give us any kind of hope that her government has any interest in prioritising the needs of people here”

Northern Secretary has meetings with Simon Coveney, North’s main political parties and church leaders on how to restore Stormont

The surveys found that 87%  of Leave voters in Northern Ireland, who are overwhelmingly unionist, see the collapse of the peace process as an acceptable price for Brexit. Photograph: Getty Images

Arlene Foster ahead of meeting with Michel Barnier says EU must respect 2016 referendum result

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney is among the politicians Karen Bradley will meet as part of  tentative efforts to restore Stormont. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Northern Secretary meeting politicians in preliminary move to resolve deadlock

“On Brexit the politics overtook the economics quite some time ago now.”

Politicians urged to find a ‘middle way’ to avoid damage to Northern Ireland economy

Eoin Ro Wilson casts his vote during the Irish Youth Referendum  in west Belfast. Photograph: Matt Bohill Pacemaker

Tiocfaidh ár what? Young people in west Belfast put a united Ireland to a vote

Northern Secretary Karen Bradley. Photograph: Epa/Andy Rain

Sinn Féin clarifies its position to consultation process on main protagonist of conflict

PSNI temporary deputy chief constable Stephen Martin at the launch of a recruitment drive for 400 new officers  in Belfast. Photograph:    Michael McHugh/PA Wire

Talk of return of 50:50 recruitment to improve balance antagonises unionists

Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O’Neill at the launch of the party’s Legacy Consultation Response at Stormont on Wednesday. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Party makes submission to British government consultation on addressing legacy of past

Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin. Photograph : Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Féin said Britain has always sought to ‘conceal and deny’ its role in the Troubles

From left, Anthony Harbinson,  head of the OCTF in Northern Ireland, and Det Supt Bobby Singleton, PSNI.  Photograph:  Michael Cooper/ PA Wire

Thousands of businesses being extorted by paramilitaries, says senior PSNI officer

The PSNI has warned the majority of its recruits are coming from the Protestant community. The force on Monday launched a campaign to attract 400 new recruits. Photograph: Getty

Politicians may have to resume 50:50 Catholic:Protestant recruitment, PSNI head says

 Dr Andrew McCormick provided more than 1,100 pages of written evidence, documentation and annexes to the RHI inquiry. Photograph: PA

RHI inquiry chairman incredulous that there was no written record of who decided not to pull the reins on the highly lucrative but(...)

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