The Lifford Bridge spans the river Foyle and connects Strabane to Lifford across the Border between the Republic and the UK. Photograph: Joe Dunne

Local action is being taken to try to drive down infections in one of worst-hit areas

The Strand at Lough Beg, a place of ‘special memories’ for the poet, has been made accessible to visitors for the first time

Open Ground features listening posts and panels explaining each place’s link to Heaney’s poetry

DUP leader Edwin Poots, right, and MLA Paul Givan leave Government Buildings in Dublin on Thursday. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty

Though no household name, DUP members were unsurprised the Poots loyalist was in the frame

 President Michael D Higgins delivered virtually the keynote address on the subjects of ‘heritage, home and healing’ at the American Conference of Irish Studies. Photograph:  Maxwell’s

President calls for ‘deep reflection’ in address to mark anniversary of St Colmcille’s birth

Edwin Poots: claimed North-South relations had ‘never been worse’. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Northern Ireland protocol and North-South relations to be discussed in meeting

Patrick Stanley (16) from Clara, Co Offaly, was killed by the bomb in Belturbet, Co Cavan, in 1972, as was 15-year-old Geraldine O’Reilly.

Geraldine O’Reilly, Patrick Stanley died when car bomb exploded in town in 1972

DUP leader Edwin Poots was ratified as party leader following an acrimonious meeting last week. Photograph: Mark Marlow/PA Wire

Poots said it could be ‘a useful opportunity to ensure there is a smooth transition’

People take part in a Black Lives Matter protest in Custom House Square, Belfast last year. File photograph: Rebecca Black/PA Wire

PPS says there is ‘no reasonable prospect of conviction’ of any of 14 people investigated

Dr Tony Holohan doubles down on criticism of crowds socialising in Dublin city last weekend

The North’s Minister for Agriculture has decided not to enforce checks on pets travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland until at least October 1st.  Photograph: Mark Marlow/PA Wire

Checks postponed to allow further time for discussions between UK and EU, Poots says

A Covid-19 test centre. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Latest data comes as over 740 cases of disease are reported in Limerick in two weeks

DUP leader Edwin Poots at a press conference at Stormont  where he met with the party’s assembly members. Photograph: Mark Marlow/PA Wire

New DUP leader says delays in nominations were ‘absolutely not’ down to party divisions

DUP leader Edwin Poots. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

If Foster were to resign as First Minister, Michelle O’Neill would no longer hold office

A patient receives a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a temporary Covid-19 vaccination centre outside Paris, France. File photograph: Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images

New data shows 73,000 passengers departed State for overseas destinations in April

John  Hume: he is  the only person ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Martin Luther King Jnr Nonviolent Peace Prize and the Mahatma Ghandi Peace Prize.  Photograph: Getty Images

Mayor describes Hume as ‘a true and courageous peace-maker who made a huge impact in Derry, on the island and internationally’

Incoming DUP leader Edwin Poots arriving to be ratified at the Ramada Hotel in Belfast: He takes over when  Arlene Foster steps down on Friday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

North’s Minister for Agriculture vows to heal internal divisions within party and unionism

 The House of Lords committee investigating the impact of the NI protocol was told that further trouble on the streets is likely over the summer months. File photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Loyalist leader claims nationalist interests were ‘carefully safeguarded’

Dr Michael McBride said health authorities in the North recognised that people living in Border communities needed to cross the border for work, education and family reasons. File photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Dr Michael McBride points to higher Covid-19 incidence in Republic and ‘very different’ vaccination rollout rate

The incoming DUP leader Edwin Poots was answering questions in the Assembly on Tuesday in his capacity as the North’s Minister for Agriculture. Photograph: PA

Incoming DUP leader blames ‘Republic led by Varadkar and Coveney’ for poor ties

New DUP leader Edwin Poot. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Women from loyalist community fear new DUP leader’s views will inform governance

Caffé Fresco open for indoor dining in Strabane, Co Tyrone. Photograph:   Joe Dunne

Northern Ireland has taken another significant step out of lockdown with the reopening of indoor hospitality

The North’s health minister Robin Swann (left)  and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly. Photographs:  Kelvin Boyes/PA Wire and Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Spokesman says Donnelly plans to meet counterpart after criticism from northern leaders

Ulster Unionist Party’s new leader Doug Beattie: “Clearly I’m British as well but my whole life I’ve identified as Irish.”  Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

‘You have to leave religion at the door when you’re trying to do politics,’ says UUP leader

Patricia Donnelly, the head of Northern Ireland’s vaccination programme, said all age groups would get offers “very shortly”.

All age groups to get offers ‘very shortly’ as programme is extended to people aged 25-29

The interval between doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is being reduced from 16 weeks to 12 weeks. Photograph: Asif Hassan/AFP via Getty

Any move to give people choice between vaccines requires careful thought – HSE

Outgoing Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster (left) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill both welcomed the easing of restrictions but said people must still follow public health advice.  File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Hospitality, entertainment and travel among areas to benefit

A vaccinator draws up the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Hexham, England. File photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

Approximately 70% of adults in Northern Ireland have now received first vaccine dose

Victims of the Ballymurphy massacre, 1971: Joseph Corr, Daniel Teggart, Edward Doherty, Fr Hugh Mullan, Francis Quinn, Pat McCarthy, Joan Connolly, John James McKerr, Noel Phillips, John Laverty and Joseph Murphy. File photograph: Ballymurphy Massacre Committee/PA

Relatives again critical of British prime minister for shortcomings in statement

Pat Finucane, a 39-year-old lawyer, was shot dead in front of his family at their home in north Belfast in 1989 by the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) in collusion with British state agents.

Sinn Féin and SDLP motion was narrowly passed but opposed by DUP and UUP

One million people in the North have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Photograph: Alan Betson

Another 104 positive cases confirmed with 38 patients with Covid-19 in hospital

New DUP leader Edwin Poots speaking at the party’s offices in Stormont Parliament Buildings. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

DUP leader refused to be drawn on whether he had been behind the move to oust Arlene Foster

 New-elected DUP leader Edwin Poots leaving Stormont after making a statement. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The new DUP leader has promised to achieve the apparently unachievable in scrapping the Northern Ireland protocol

 Edwin Poots is a strong opponent of the Northern Ireland protocol. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Pragmatic, experienced politician has proven himself capable of working with Sinn Féin

Edwin Poots (left) has beaten his constituency colleague, Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson for the top DUP position. Photographs: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images and Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Winner has previously said he will not take up First Minister’s position and will appoint another party MLA to the post

The North’s Minister for Agriculture, Edwin Poots (right), and his constituency colleague,  Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson. Photographs: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images and Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Candidates Donaldson and Poots both pledge tough action against Northern Ireland protocol

Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill. At Thursday’s meeting, Ministers were told data around the virus ‘continues to have a generally positive direction of travel’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Up to 1,000 spectators to attend Irish Cup final in Lurgan on May 21 as part of study

A mural commemorating the Ballymurphy massacre on the Whiterock Road in Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Families say apology should have been made in House of Commons in person

Outgoing Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster (left) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill  at the launch of the PGA Europro Tour event at Clandeboye Golf Club near Bangor, Co Down on Wednesday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Department of Health in North reports 113 new cases, no further deaths on Wednesday

  Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued the apology on Wednesday. Photograph: PA Wire

Relatives criticise British prime minister’s statement as it was not addressed to them

Families of victims react following the verdict into the Ballymurphy inquest at Waterfront Hall in Belfast. British soldiers used “clearly disproportionate” force during violence in Northern Ireland that saw 10 civilians shot dead in 1971, a coroner ruled on Tuesday, finding the victims all innocent of any crimes. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP

White flags bear word ‘innocent’ as relatives of 10 victims welcome clearing of names

Victims shot in August 1971: (left to right top row) Joseph Corr, Danny Teggart, Eddie Doherty, Fr Hugh Mullan, Frank Quinn,  (left to right, bottom row) Joan Connolly, John McKerr, Noel Philips, John Laverty and Joseph Murphy. Photograph: Ballymurphy Massacre Committee/PA Wire

Failure to deal with legacy continues to bedevil the present as well as the past

Families celebrate outside the International Convention Centre in Belfast after a coroner ruled those shot dead in Ballymurphy in 1971 were ‘entirely innocent’. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Family of victims express joy and relief at verdicts of inquests into 1971 killings

Frank Quinn who is one of the people who died in the Ballymurphy massacre in 1971

Coronor to deliver findings into 1971 atrocity by British army in west Belfast

One of the victims, John Laverty, was the uncle of Mary Kate Quinn (right) pictured with her young daughter, Blaithin, her mother, Carmel, sister Mairead and aunt, Rita Bonner at the mural  depicting the Ballymurphy massacre. Photograph:  Stephen Davison

Families campaigned for inquest into shooting dead of 10 people in 1971 Belfast atrocity

Aerial view of the Barry’s Amusements site in Portrush, Co Antrim

Amusement park has been in business since 1926

 Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney met  Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis at the Department of Foreign Affairs  in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Simon Coveney warns Britain against ‘unilateral’ action on North legacy issues

Mark Kelly, who saw his 12-year-old sister Carol-Ann die after being struck by a plastic bullet in Belfast in 1981,  says the British government cannot be allowed to block future legal cases as bereaved families in Northern Ireland pursue justice for their loved ones.  Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Niall Murphy says UK government proposals would be an abuse of the peace process

DUP Member of the Legislative Assembly Gregory Campbell has put forward his name for the deputy leader post.

Gregory Campbell, Paula Bradley and Paul Frew are seeking to replace Nigel Dodds

Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer said the development was ‘not entirely unexpected’. File photograph: PA

Seven people identified with variant in North where contingency plan has been put in place

Northern Secretary Brandon Lewis with Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney at the Department of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Reports suggesting UK government intends to ‘ban prosecutions’ condemned in Ireland

Martina Anderson described the party review’s recommendation as a “body blow” . Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Foyle constituency colleague Karen Mullan will also step aside after poor results in Derry

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson poses for photographers at DUP headquarters in Belfast as he announces his bid to be the next DUP leader. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Edwin Poots and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson have announced their intention to stand

Edwin Poots, tipped to succeed Arlene Foster as DUP leader, speaks to the media in the grounds of Stormont Castle, Belfast, in 2017. Photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

Debates about commemorating the past are also about the future

Mairead Liddy from Magheralin, Co Armagh, who was born in December 1921, the year the Northern Ireland state was established following partition. Photograph: Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Belfast

Mairead Liddy (99) was born the same year the state of Northern Ireland was created

Jim Martin:   “There’s anger at the DUP, big anger.” Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

The view from Shankill Road where there is an increasing sense of disconnect between people and party

Edwin Poots with Arlene Foster: he is the first candidate to officially declare an interest in contesting the DUP leadership

North’s Minister for Agriculture is regarded as the front-runner in the race to succeed Arlene Foster and is currently the bookie’(...)

Edwin Poots, a long-standing MLA for Lagan Valley, was known to have ambitions towards the leadership of the DUP. File photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Move follows Arlene Foster’s announcement on Wednesday that she will step down

Arlene Foster outside Stormont,  on January 11th, 2016,  when she was  newly appointed First Minister of Northern Ireland. Photograph: Paul Faith / AFP

Arlene Foster to step down as Northern Ireland’s First Minister and DUP leader

The North’s minister of agriculture, Edwin Poots, a long-standing MLA for Lagan Valley, is known to have ambitions towards the leadership of the DUP. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Minister of agriculture Edwin Poots is viewed as most likely successor to Arlene Foster

Arlene Foster and DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds pass a portrait of former first minister Ian Paisley at Stormont. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

A 1988 interview with Foster after her school bus was bombed hints at her political future

Arlene Foster released a statement on Wednesday afternoon.

She will step down from party leadership at end of May and Stormont position the following month

Northern Ireland’s First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster faces a leadership challenge. Photograph: PA

Analysis: Tensions within DUP over Brexit, abortion and other issues, have boiled over

Arlene Foster has played down suggestions her leadership of the DUP is under threat. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire

First Minister plays down reports of ‘open revolt’ as 23 MLAs sign letter of no confidence

Club members Tim O’Farrell (right) and Hector McIlwaine on the 18th green in the Letterkenny Golf Club, Co. Donegal. Photograph: Joe Dunne

Golfers eager to play but also to socialise outdoors as courses reopen

A huge gorse fire which spread across the Mourne Mountains in Co Down. Photograph: Patrick Corrigan/PA Wire

PSNI launch investigation into cause of fire which took three days to extinguish

As of Monday morning, 1,259,478 doses of vaccine have been administered in the North, including more than 900,000 first doses. File photograph: iStock

The North’s Minister for Health urges young people to book vaccine appointment

 Last year Northern Ireland’s  Secretary of State Brandon Lewis outlined a new approach to dealing with legacy which included ‘significant changes’.   File photograph:  Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty

Department remains ‘ready to engage and work’ with UK on ‘this very important issue’

Dr Martin Coyne, in his surgery in Lifford, Co Donegal, said: ‘Every time that virus gets from A to B, that’s giving that virus a chance to mutate’.  Photograph: Joe Dunne

Dr Coyne says the rising numbers of cases in the county gives virus the potential to mutate

Martine Broggy of the Natural Hair Company (L) meets with Minister for the Economy Diane Dodds in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Photograph: Peter Morrison/PA Wire

One more death from Covid is recorded in Northern Ireland amid easing of restrictions

PSNI vehicles block a road during the security operation after a bomb was left in a car in  Co Derry. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Police believe dissident republican group the New IRA is behind the attack

People  confront British soldiers on IWlliam Street in Derry minutes before paratroopers opened fire,  killing 14 civilians on what became known as Bloody Sunday.  Photograph: William L Rukeyser/Getty Images

North’s Public Prosecution Service ruled former British soldiers should not be tried

Health authorities in the North have warned that people must continue to stick to the Covid-19 rules to avoid further lockdowns ahead of the relaxation of some restrictions on Friday. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

Close contact services and outdoor attractions to reopen from Friday after months of closure

Greg McNeil, of Barenuckle Barbers,  outside  his premises at Spencer Road in Derry. Photograph: Trevor McBride

Gregory McNeil has looked to diversify his business during a stop-start 13 months

Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Micheál Martin says there is ‘no excuse for violence or illegality’ in Brexit fallout

People queue up outside the Covid-19 vaccination centre at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on  Wednesday. Photograph:  Niall Carson/ PA Wire

Niac to consider extending time between doses of Pfizer jab to vaccinate more people

A total of 59 people are being treated for Covid-19 in the North’s hospitals. File photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

North-South disparity in Covid-19 situation a ‘concern’, says health minister Robin Swann

PSNI vehicles block a road during a security operation after  a  bomb was found outside the home of an off-duty police officer in Dungiven, Co Derry, on Monday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

First attack by dissident group since the arrest of its alleged leadership last year

PSNI vehicles block a road during the security operation  in a rural area close to Dungiven, Co Derry. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

PSNI says a ‘strong line of inquiry’ is that the New IRA is responsible for the incident

‘Passengers arriving into Belfast City on the first flight of the day from Heathrow on Thursday and who spoke to The Irish Times all had essential reasons for their travel.’ Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

‘I’d be averaging four times a week down to Dublin,’ says taxi driver at airport

Hillary Clinton: The Biden administration will pay attention to the potential implications of Brexit and will be alert to anything that might undermine the Belfast Agreement. File photograph: Aidan Crawley

Biden administration has ‘very deep sense of connection’ with N Ireland, forum hears

Freya McClements after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine   in Belfast.

‘I finally see the vial containing the vaccine. The needle is in my arm before I realise it’

First Minister Arlene Foster said it was a ‘landmark day’ for Northern Ireland. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Hairdressers, barbers to reopen in North from April 23rd and all shops from April 30th

People wearing face masks on Dublin’s Grafton Street during the Covid-19  pandemic. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Ministers in Northern Ireland expected to agree timetable for easing restrictions

 National Ambulance Service ‘pop up’ Covid-19 test centre at Crumlin, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Northern Ireland records 112 more positive cases of coronavirus but no further deaths

Parliament Buildings, Stormont. Photograph: iStock

Pledge ends lengthy dispute over whether funding should come from Belfast or London

In  Northern  Ireland’s hospitals 84 people are receiving treatment for Covid-19, with eight in intensive care. File photograph: PA

Dates for wider reopening of society likely to be announced on Thursday

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, presented with a hurl during a visit to Croke Park in 2011. File photograph: Getty Images

Prince Philip’s loss in conflict between Britain and Ireland acknowledged at Stormont

The wreckage of a bus on fire on the Shankill Road in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

First Minister continues to refuse to speak to Chief Constable of the PSNI

The North’s Executive will meet next week to discuss further easing of the lockdown restrictions in force in Northern Ireland. Photograph: iStock

PSNI have issued more than 6,000 fixed penalty notices for regulation breaches, figures show

Petrol bombs and masonry were thrown at police during disturbances in Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus in Co Antrim on Sunday. Photograph: Photopress

A total of 32 police officers injured in Belfast and Derry disturbances over Easter weekend

No deaths and 320 new cases were reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team on Monday. File photograph: Getty

North city site has highest positivity rate of seven walk-in centres that opened last week

The PSNI on Northland in Carrickfergus near Belfast following sporadic outbursts of disorder. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Loyalist areas in Newtownabbey and Carrickfergus see further disturbances on Sunday night

The mural in Belfast to  Bobby Sands

Forty years after Sands’s election as an MP and death by hunger strike, what is his legacy?

Constable Ronan Kerr, a 25-year-old Catholic police officer, was killed when a bomb exploded under his car outside his apartment in Highfield Close in Omagh, Co Tyrone, on April 2nd, 2011.  File photograph:  PSNI/PA Wire

Lead detective appeals for information on 10th anniversary of police officer’s death

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald (left) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill during the funeral of  former leading IRA figure Bobby Storey at the Republican plot at Milltown Cemetery in west Belfast. Photograph:  Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

NI Deputy First Minister ‘truly sorry’ actions caused hurt to families who lost loved ones in pandemic

Golfers at Shandon Park Golf Club in Belfast after courses reopened for the first time since December 26th. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Golf courses reopen and some click-and-collect services resume as cases continue to fall

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill were among senior party figures who attended Bobby Storey’s funeral in west Belfast. File photograph: PA

Escalating political row over failure to act over alleged breach of coronavirus regulations

Prof Philip Nolan, chair of the Nphet Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said the rollout of the vaccination programme was expected to ‘begin to suppress transmission’ of the virus from the middle of May. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Nphet warns against increase in close contact following easing of restrictions next month

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