Arlene Foster said while Ministers did not want to introduce further restrictions   ‘it was necessary, unfortunately, to protect our health service’.  File photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Archbishop of Armagh seeks urgent clarification on whether churches may open for individual visits and private prayer

A mural supporting the NHS near the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, Belfast. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Northern Ireland has extended restrictions by a week after bitter row

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier in London on Friday for negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

Talks overshadowed by turmoil in Downing Street as aides to Boris Johnson resign

Foundation chair Prof Seán Farren, with Tim Attwood, secretary to the foundation, and board member Dawn Purvis,  at The John and Pat Hume Foundation launch at Niavac studio in Belfast. Photograph: Kevin Cooper/Photoline

Former SDLP leader’s son announces plans for John and Pat Hume peace prize

Dr Tom Black, pictured in Derry, said the decision by politicians to relax restrictions gave a message to health workers: ‘we are abandoning you’. File photograph: Trevor McBride

Eleven more deaths and another 607 positive coronavirus cases reported in Northern Ireland on Friday

Goods entering Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, and the rest of the world, will need to meet EU rules on food safety. Photograph: iStock

British government accepts consignments would still be subject to checks and controls

The DUP this week used a veto to oppose a proposal to extend lockdown restrictions

Alliance Party leader says past week most disappointing in North politics for 20 years

A woman walks past the Brown Thomas Christmas window on Dublin’s Grafton street this week. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Medical officer rules out festive international travel even on compassionate grounds

John Hume and his wife, Pat, at home in 1999. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

‘Hugely important’ that charity is named after both his parents, says John Hume jnr

‘There is now a decision and what we need to do is tell the public what that decision is and ask the public again to try to work with us.’ Photograph:  Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Agreement eventually reached, but not before a deluge of acrimony and rancour

Hand sanitiser in the reception area at the White Horse Hotel on the outskirts of Derry on November 5th. Photograph: Paul Faith/Bloomberg

Curbs to be unwound despite warnings that hospitals could be overwhelmed by virus patients

Four Covid-19 prohibition notices were also issued, and two people received fixed penalty notices for obstructing police.

PSNI issue 40 fines over Covid-19 breaches after the event

Socially distance markings on a shop wall in Derry on November 5th. Photograph: Paul Faith/Bloomberg

Business leaders seek clarity, saying politicians putting them in ‘impossible position’

Rosslare Harbour. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Potential capacity problems on ferries bypassing ‘land bridge’ flagged by hauliers

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster and Taoiseach Micheál Martin during the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in Enniskillen. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Call on 33rd anniversary of bombing to bring killers to justice

Then US vice-president Joe Biden with President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin during a visit in June 2016. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

President Higgins looks forward to the two countries working together to rebuild much-needed trust

A further 595 people tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours. File photograph: Alan Betson

North confirms 4,160 coronavirus cases in the last 7 days

Caterpillar says the majority of the proposed redundancies are  in production, support and management roles at its plant in Larne, Co Antrim, and are expected to be complete within 12 to 18 months.  Photograph: Getty Images

The construction and mining equipment firm employs 1,600 in the North, and makes generators at its factory in Larne

A further 493 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Northern Ireland on Monday.

Two more deaths and 767 further infections confirmed in the State

Failure to quickly repay Covid-19 grants paid in error led to the resignation of Sinn Féin senator Elisha McCallion. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Minister vows to put in place recovery process for ineligible Covid-19 business grants

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and First Minister Arlene Foster. Photograph: Justin Kernoghan/Photopress

Deputy First Minister refuses to rule out further restrictions despite Foster optimism

Martha Campbell, front row, first from left, with her parents and siblings in a rare family photograph the Christmas before she was killed. Her brother Tony is behind her right shoulder. Photograph courtesy Campbell family

Logs put British Army unit in area and firing shots at time Martha Campbell (13) was killed

Elisha McCallion said she fully accepts ‘that as a named signature on the account that I should have taken extra steps to verify this situation, before it was brought to my attention on Tuesday’. File photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

£30,000 of grants were erroneously paid to three Sinn Féin offices in the North

Eight more people with coronavirus have died in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours. File photograph: Alan Betson

361 people receiving treatment in hospital with 44 in intensive care

Stakeknife has previously been named as 73-year-old west Belfast man Freddie Scappaticci (centre in a file image from 1987) who denies  he was Stakeknife, or a British spy. Photograph: Pacemaker

These are the first decisions issued by the PPS in regard to the inquiry into Stakeknife

Gimee Etwarysing with her baby, Leah, in her sister’s home in Letterkenny, Co Donegal. Photograph: Joe Dunne

Gimee Etwarysing and baby Leah were ‘the talk of the maternity ward’ in Letterkenny

Senior Government sources confirmed that beds in hospitals in the Republic may be needed to facilitate any further increase in coronavirus cases in the North. File photograph: Getty

Non-coronavirus care in hospitals could fall by wayside if beds are needed for NI patients

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee  has described the proposals as ‘unilateral and unhelpful’. Above, Boris Johnson. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/PA Wire

New proposals condemned by NI victims’ groups, Irish Government and MPs

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster says the taxi, private bus and coach sectors have faced a “significant reduction in demand”. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

Amid extra curbs such as extended half-term school holiday, aid for transport sector urged

Gardaí  at the border crossing between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as they conduct checks asking people the reason for their journey. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

319 coronavirus patients are now in hospital as Tony Holohan urges public to ‘dig deep’

A police officer talking to an anti-lockdown protester on the Stormont estate in Belfast at the weekend. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

‘Unrealistic’ for police to enforce restrictions alone as more than 450 officers self-isolate

Anna Burns: “To go from being a wee girl haggling over library cards with my siblings, my friends, neighbours, my parents and my aunt, to be standing here today receiving this award is phenomenal for me.” Photograph: Eleni Stefanou

Troubles novel has already won Man Booker and Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prizes

Last week the North’s Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, recommended planning approval for a new GAA stadium at Casement Park in west Belfast.   Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Northern Assembly’s public accounts committee shocked by findings of report

Hayley Donan with her son Tiernan and daughter Maebh in the garden where they grow their own veg. Photograph: Martin McKeown

Backyard veg patch became a pilot for the project that will recruit 100 families to grow their own food

Dr Tom Black: “The town knows what happened, and the town knows what they did. They were just over-confident, and let their guard down.” Photograph: Trevor McBride

‘Complacency set in, people thought they had the Covid pandemic beaten, and they socialised’

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste  Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan will meet around lunchtime today to discuss the implications of the public health advice. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Ministers divided over how to respond to latest Nphet recommendation on Covid-19

Four of the victims received hospital treatment for puncture injuries, which were not life-threatening, the PSNI said.

Two women were punched and four were stabbed by city centre cyclist

The restrictions  were brought to the Assembly by the First Minister, the DUP leader Arlene Foster.  Photograph:  Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/ PA Wire

Two more coronavirus-related deaths reported as new restrictions are introduced

‘Right now, we need everyone to cut their social contacts to an absolute minimum,’ chief medical officer  Dr Tony Holohan said on Friday. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Record high of almost 1,300 Covid-19 cases recorded in Northern Ireland on Friday

The women who had been stabbed received treatment in hospital for puncture injuries, which were not life-threatening, the PSNI said..

Four women were stabbed and two were physically assaulted by man on bicycle

Pat Blake of Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen is preparing  to close his pub once again. Picture: Ronan McGrade

North’s Ministers announce new Covid-19 restrictions to begin at 6pm on Friday

The man stopped an off-duty officer and presented a homemade PSNI ID card. File photograph: Paul Mcerlane/EPA

PSNI detain man (26) in Craigavon after off-duty officer pulled over

Fiona Roper, owner of the Old Stone restaurant, serves customers  Aidan O’Donnell and Jack Britton: “I don’t see any positive news coming out of that budget for us at all.” Photograph: Joe Dunne

Donegal ‘hospitality town’ business people on VAT, wage subsidy and debt warehousing

A student outside Queen’s University Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Despite high-profile breaches, offenders are a ‘small minority’ of students, president says

  Suffolk Street  in central Dublin: the rate of new cases in the capital is slowing after three weeks of Level 3 restrictions. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins Photos

Increased regional measures more likely than ‘circuit breaker’, sources say

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill is self-isolating after a contact tested positive for Covid-19; she has tested negative. File photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Executive to consider further restrictions after almost 2,000 cases over weekend

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill during a press conference in Parliament Building, Stormont. File photograph: PA

Michelle O’Neill tests negative but will continue to self isolate

Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill is ‘self-isolating’ after a close family member tested positive for Covid-19. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire.

Michelle O’Neill self-isolating after family member tests positive

A garda performing a random vehicle check in the village of Muff, Co  Donegal. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Total of 506 new cases reported in Republic and one death

In Belfast 1,171 people were confirmed positive for the virus in the last seven days. File photograph: Douglas Magno/ AFP

Northern Executive to meet to discuss restrictions as cases continue to rise

A European Union  flag flies outside the Berlaymont in Brussels, Belgium.  Photographer: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

When UK leaves EU, it will lose access to initiatives which apply only to member states

Shannon Bradley and Caitlyn McCrea shopping in Derry as the Stormont Executive announces restrictions to stem the massive spike in Covid-19 cases. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

State more than €9bn in the red as North reports highest-ever daily infections

Publican William McGuinness, the owner of Peadar O’Donnell’s pub in Derry city. Photograph: Freya McClements

Business owners in the city understand the need for action but fret about survival

The Peace Bridge in Derry. The Stormont Executive announced a wide-ranging series of restrictions for the Derry City and Strabane Council area this week in an effort to stem rising Covid-19 infection numbers. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Measures to tackle outbreaks in Derry City and Strabane area to take effect next week

Health minister Robin Swann arrives for a press conference to discuss the latest coronavirus situation. Photograph: Matt Mackey/Press Eye/PA Wire

‘Stark’ rise in new cases in these areas, says North’s health minister

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announcing on Thursday that the EU has formally warned Britain of legal action over its Internal Market Bill. Photo Johanna Geron/AFP via Getty Images

British government says it will respond to European Commission letter ‘in due course’

Parliament Buildings in Stormont. Photograph: Peter Morrison/PA Wire

Any approach must ‘have the imprimatur of the governments in London, Dublin and Stormont’

Mickey McKinney, whose brother William was killed on Bloody Sunday, in the Bogside on Tuesday. Photograph: Margaret McLaughlin

‘As long as we are able to walk, we’ll go after them,’ pledges brother of killed teenager

A file picture from Bloody Sunday in Derry on January 30th, 1972. Father Edward Daly and others are seen running down the street with an injured man after soldiers opened fire on protestors.

Victims’ families ‘disappointed but not surprised’; say they will take case to High Court

A  caravan with a Northern registration being transported towards Strabane in Co Tyrone from the Border area of Lifford in Co Donegal on Friday. Photograph: Margaret McLaughlin

Garda checkpoints in operation in county, both along Border with North and neighbouring Leitrim

Derry Peace Bridge: in Derry and Strabane, the rates are the highest on the island of Ireland, with an average infection rate over the last seven days of 210 per 100,000 of population as of Sunday. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Speculation infection levels in northwest due to family gatherings and low initial levels

St Eunan’s Cathedral in Letterkenny: With Level 3 restrictions coming into play, many made the most of the last opportunity to go to Mass. Photograph: Declan Doherty

Locals brace for restrictions and admit standards slipped: ‘Everyone got very casual’

The new cases were detected from 7,410 tests, representing a 3.7 per cent positivity rate. Photograph: Lex van Lieshout/EPA

Other areas may move to Level 3 but ‘nothing inevitable about it’, says Dr Ronan Glynn

First Minister Arlene Foster, Finance Minister Conor Murphy and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill at a press conference in Parliament Buildings, Stormont on the latest coronavirus situation. Photograph: PA Wire

Foster asked about Sammy Wilson allegedly on London underground without mask

Minister for Foreign Affairs  Simon Coveney: Progress on fisheries has been “disappointing” and “progress on an overall trade deal is linked to progress on fisheries”. Photograph:  Tom Honan/PA

‘Trust and relationships like everything in politics are what matter here’

The Stormont scrutiny committee was told that contingency plans needed to be ‘immediately developed and implemented’. Photograph: iStock

Facilities will not be in place ‘despite monumental efforts’ by January 1st, committee hears

The affected members of staff all work at Craigavon ambulance station in Co Armagh. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Affected members from Craigavon station in Co Armagh got virus on trip to Republic

Thames House, MI5’s headquarters. Photograph: iStock

Concerns raised that proposed legislation puts no specific limit on the type of crime

Prosecutors are now considering whether fresh prosecutions should be brought against the 15 defendants.

Offences involved 17 victims, 11 of whom were children at the time

Holy Cross School, Strabane. Photograph: Google Street View

Holy Cross College in Strabane is co-educational school with about 1,500 pupils

UUP leader Steve Aiken said that too often in the Brexit debate ‘it sounds like Boris bashing turns into Brit-bashing, and that is not something that I think it conducive or helpful for the people of Northern Ireland’. File photograph:  Niall Carson/PA.

UUP leader Steve Aiken says Brexit debate too often descends into ‘Brit-bashing’

Northern Ireland first minister Arlene Foster: ‘I hope that people work with us in a partnership approach the way in which we have worked at the earlier part of the pandemic so that we can try and break the transmission.’   Photograph:  Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Society has to work in tandem with Executive to halt virus spread, DUP leader says

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson said the UK government was ‘driving a coach and horses through strands one, two and three of the Good Friday Agreement’ by attempting to change the Brexit withdrawal agreement. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

SF MLA says changes to withdrawal deal would drive ‘coach and horses’ through Belfast Agreement

First Minister Arlene Foster. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

People from different households will not be allowed to meet inside private homes under new measures

Author Sam McBratney, who wrote the children’s classic Guess How Much I Love You, has died aged 77, his publisher, Walker Books, has announced.

Tributes paid to former teacher who saw his classic children’s book sell over 50m copies

Premises must offer table service only, and must calculate the number of people who can safely be accommodated in line with social distancing requirements and put this figure on public display. Photograph: iStock

Police issue £60 fines to young people breaking coronavirus regulations in Belfast

Debate on the Internal Market Bill in the House of Commons, London. Photograph:  UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire

Impact of UK’s Internal Market Bill on funding for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales raised at meeting

The message must go out loud and clear that dangerous anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated,” Robin Swann said.    Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Northern Ireland records two further Covid-19 deaths and 129 new cases

Susan Stanley on stage during Anything Can Happen 1972 at the Playhouse in Derry. Photograph: The Playhouse

Derry’s Playhouse has overcome Covid setbacks to stage Anything Can Happen 1972

Ulster Unionist Party leader Steve Aiken said thousands of sole traders and micro-businesses had been affected by the pandemic. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Calls for hardship fund for those outside supports with one in 10 young now unemployed

The 357 Covid-19 cases reported on Tueday, is the highest daily total since May. Photograph: Alan Betson

Dublin accounts for more than 60% of total as incidence of Covid-19 in capital rises

A screengrab from a video which appears to show a young girl driving a lorry on a motorway in Co Tyrone.

Girl was pictured apparently behind the wheel of vehicle on motorway

Planning permission has already been approved for the Republic of Ireland section of the line.  Photograph: iStock

North-South 400kv overhead line will run from Co Tyrone to Co Meath

First Minister Arlene Foster says “A vehicle like this veering out of control into traffic is unthinkable.”. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

North’s First Minister urges public to help ‘identify these people and make our roads safer’

First Minister Arlene Foster insisted the Executive was not ‘scaremongering’ about Covid-19. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Foster warns over spread of Covid-19 as department reports 109 additional cases

DUP MP Ian Paisley:  “We can’t close our country down because of Covid.” Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Belfast City Council, Ballymena and BT43, BT28 and BT29 postcode regions affected

UK prime minister Boris Johnson. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/WPA Pool/Getty

Simon Coveney says UK is damaging its reputation with ‘bogus claims’ and ‘spin’

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood: ‘The Good Friday Agreement wasn’t written by nationalists, it was written by a lot of people in a room.’

SDLP leader well aware of the multiple challenges facing a referendum on a united Ireland

First minister Arlene Foster and deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill at Thursday’s media briefing at Stormont. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

First and deputy first ministers resume briefings after Storey funeral controversy

 First Minister Arlene Foster (left) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill during a media briefing at Parliament Buildings in Stormont,  Belfast on Thursday. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire.

Arlene Foster believes house parties a contributor to recent rise in case numbers

First Minister Arlene Foster (left) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill arrive for the media broadcast at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, in Belfast on Thursday. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Conferences suspended following controversy over republican Bobby Storey’s funeral

 Sir Declan Morgan Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland said the British government’s comments about the Northern Ireland protocol   enable ‘others to take the view that they can choose which laws apply to them’. Photograph: Alan Betson

Declan Morgan tells BBC government’s stance makes him ‘gravely uncomfortable’

Northern Ireland’s Minister for Health Robin Swann. File photograph: Matt Mackey/PA Wire

Department of Health records no further fatalities after 607 positive tests in last week

British prime minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

North secretary Brandon Lewis admits new internal markets Bill breaks international law

Billy Hutchinson. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty

Conversation about a shared island must have boundaries, many unionists argue

Donna Best: ‘I don’t think Ireland can afford us – they can’t afford our benefits.’ Photograph: Trevor McBride

‘I don’t think the South could take us on financially, because we have the NHS’

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill. Photograph: David Young /PA Wire

Leaders say it is unacceptable for the UK government to abandon safeguards in Bill

Sammy Wilson: “I am pleased that the government is open to changes, but we will judge the legislation on its impact rather than the headlines and speculation”

DUP gives Bill a cautious welcome, and has called on the UK government to go further

Dara McAnulty: “I’ve proven that a young person’s voice in a literary world can be heard, and that it isn’t just older people doing nature writing.”

Judges call for Diary of a Young Naturalist to be listed at once on the national curriculum

 Health Minister Robin Swann: said he could not ‘find words to adequately describe the scale of this betrayal of trust, this scandal.’ Photograph:  Matt Mackey/PA Wire

Health minister orders statutory public inquiry into Muckamore Abbey Hospital

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