A man in to appear at Belfast Magistrates Court on Monday charged with two counts of rape. File photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

Accused to appear in court in Belfast on Monday in relation to series of alleged offences

The North’s agriculture minister Edwin Boots said in cases of ‘gross’ breach of the regulations, fines could be increased to £100,000.  File image: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

Among those suffering from virus is Belfast solicitor Niall Murphy who is critical but stable in hospital

Paramedics are seen attending an incident in Belfast as the spread of the coronavirus disease  continues, on Saturday. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Further 86 cases of Covid-19 reported following announcement of restrictions

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill during a coronavirus briefing at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, on Friday. Photograph: PA

Move comes amid continuing tensions between DUP and Sinn Féin on reaction to crisis

 Meat factory workers outside the Linden Foods factory in Dungannon on Friday morning. The employees walked out complaining that there were not adequate social distancing measures in place. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye.

Total number of cases rises to 275 with Foster and O’Neill at odds over closing businesses

Parish priest of Seriate, Don Mario stands by coffins stored in the church of San Giuseppe in Seriate, near Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy  during the country’s lockdown during the  new coronavirus pandemic.  Photograph: Piero Cruciatti/AFP via Getty Images

‘It is just so surreal and so opposite to what the church is about. it is singularly terrible’

Ten deaths and 231 people tested positive for coronavirus in North

A man allegedly deliberately coughed over PSNI officers and claimed to have Covid-19

Accused (39) due to appear at Belfast Magistrates court

Michelle O’Neill was   overcome temporarily when asked a question by Traditional Unionist Voice leader Jim Allister about one of his North Antrim constituents who has cancer. Photograph: PA

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill close to tears when taking question on virus emergency

olice in Derry have urged parents to speak to their children after they were abused by youths who said they had coronavirus. Image from Google maps

PSNI also warns against ‘scammers’ who take money from vulnerable to buy groceries but never deliver

A packed Inch Strand in Kerry on Sunday 22nd of March when people were supposed to be practising social distancing when outside. Photograph Jonathan Bradshaw.

Varadkar says further restrictions will only be implemented based on expert advice

Betty Williams died in her sleep on St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: Peter Thursfield / THE IRISH TIMES

Belfast woman was one of three founders of Peace People

In a careful but negative response the Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Coveney said the “Stormont House Agreement framework is the way forward” on these issues. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw for The Irish Times

Tánaiste issues cool response to proposals from Northern Secretary Brandon Lewis

The five teachers unions said there was ‘increasing concern around the safety of pupils and school staff’. File photograph: The Irish Times

Arlene Foster move was likely to mean they would remain shut during the summer

The PSNI described the so-called punishment attack as ‘absolutely barbaric’. File photograph: EPA

Victim suffers fractures, collapsed lung in ‘absolutely barbaric’ suspected paramilitary attack

A security guard wearing a face mask at Croke Park in Dublin,  where the stadium is being used as a testing facility for Covid-19. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Northern Ireland to close schools, as Minister warns ‘many more’ will become unemployed

First Minister Arlene Foster at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast on Monday night. Photograph:  PA

Measures include rates relief for businesses and support for the vulnerable

In quite a personal statement Ms Foster said she came into politics not for gain but to advance the values important to her and to try to make people’s lives better for people in Northern Ireland. . . and to heal divisions. File photograph: PA

Emotional Arlene Foster speaks of ‘dark moments’ of recent years and how corruption allegations upset her and her family

Arlene Foster apologised again ‘for my failings in the implementation of the RHI scheme’.

Report revealed no ‘malicious activity’ by Stormont ministers, officials and advisers

After the North-South ministerial meeting in Armagh at the weekend DUP leader Arlene Foster said ‘calm heads’ are needed during this time. Photograph: Photopress

Confirmation of 16 new cases in Northern Ireland over weekend triggers meeting

At the North-South ministerial meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar emphasised the need to ‘limit the harm to human health and human life’ from the virus. Photograph: PA

Varadkar committed to co-operation as ‘difference about is our common objective’

A medical staff, wearing a protective outfit, walks on a parking at an infectious hospital in Warsaw. Photograph: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP  via Getty Images

France to shut shops, restaurants; Coveney warns against non-essential journeys to Poland

Inquiry chairman Sir Patrick Coghlin and Dame Una O’Brien, statutory inquiry panel member, and Dr Keith MacLean, technical assessor to the inquiry, present their findings in Parliament Buildings on Friday. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Colum Eastwood calls for immediate reform of the processes of government

Arlene Foster at Stormont, following the publication of Sir Patrick Coghlin’s report into the renewable heat incentive scheme. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Coghlin report has described RHI scheme as a tragicomedy of ‘errors and omissions’

A video grab taken from the Renewable Heat Incentive inquiry of Sir Patrick Coghlin addressing the opening of the inquiry. File photograph: PA

Policies and process should be improved, report finds

DUP leader Arlene Foster: report found she should not have been presented with a document which lacked all the necessary cost information, but she equally should not have signed it. Photograph:  Jonathan Brady/PA

Three-year inquiry finds Arlene Foster should not have signed off scheme

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster Foster admitted that she did not read the legislation behind the Renewable Heat Incentive. File photograph: The Irish Times

Renewable heating grants scheme could yet cost the Northern taxpayer up to £490m

First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster said  the Northern Ireland Executive had ‘no prior knowledge’ of Leo  Varadkar’s announcement. Photograph: EPA/Andy Rain

Foster ‘disappointed’ that Executive not informed in advance of Varadkar’s decision

Tánaiste Simon Coveney announcing measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus with Minister for Health Simon Harris and Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan at Government Buildings on Thursday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Nine clusters of cases identified as schools and colleges are closed until March 29th

DUP leader Arlene Foster. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Senior NI Ministers meet to consider escalating response

Flybe workers’ representatives in Northern Ireland have urged the British government and the Northern Executive to provide funding to secure routes out of George Best Belfast City Airport and to safeguard jobs. Photograph:  Andrew Matthews/PA Wire.

Union chief says Executive and British government must defend future of Belfast City Airport, connectivity and jobs

Tributes have been paid to Joan Lawrie, the mother of murdered journalist Lyra McKee, who has died. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire.

Tánaiste says Ms Lawrie told him she ‘lost her baby’ when they met at journalist’s funeral last year

In relation to the three new coronavirus cases the North’s Public Health Agency said ‘staff are working quickly to identify contacts the individuals may have had, with the objective of preventing further spread of the virus’.

Three new cases of Covid-19 in NI but health staff working to prevent spread of the virus

A nurse during a demonstration of the Coronavirus pod and COVID-19 virus testing procedures set-up beside  Antrim Area Hospital, Co Antrim in Northern Ireland. File Photograph: Michael Cooper/PA Wire

Both teams taking precautions as number of cases in NI rises to seven

Alliance party deputy leader Stephen Farry is applauded after making his keynote address to the  party’s annual conference at the Stormont Hotel in Belfast. Photograph: PA Wire.

Absense of ill leader Naomi Long a shame for party acting like it has the wind in its sails

There is no current case for a Border poll on a united Ireland, Alliance deputy leader Stephen Farry said at the party’s 50th anniversary annual conference.  File Photograph: HO/PRU/AFP via Getty Images

There is space for ‘civilised, rational, evidence-based discussions’, says Stephen Farry

 Belfast City Hall. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty

Just over one in five DUP supporters believe there will be a united Ireland ‘eventually’

An Emergency Department Nurse during a demonstration of the Coronavirus pod and COVID-19 virus testing procedures set-up beside the Emergency Department of Antrim Area Hospital, Co Antrim in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Michael Cooper/PA Wire

Total of nine cases discovered on island of Ireland as authorities work to contain illness

Chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride (centre) with   Dr Philip Veal and Dr Miriam McCarthy:  “People who have had casual passing contact are not at high risk of contacting this virus.” Photograph: Pacemaker

‘Small number’ in contact with infected person are at risk, says chief medical officer

The patient flew from northern Italy to Dublin Airport and then travelled on to Northern Ireland

Adult patient travelled from Italy through Dublin into Northern Ireland

Some of the weapons seized   following a disturbance at a funeral. Photograph: PSNI

Police appeal for calm after disturbance ‘quickly addressed’ inside Strabane church

Independent MEP Mick Wallace is to appear as a defence witness for loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson who is being prosecuted over how claims made relating to Nama. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

‘I’ve plenty to say about Nama and how the exposing of that was in the public interest’

A speaker drew applause at the rally when he told Stormont finance minister Conor Murphy he had nothing to apologise for. File photograph: Rebecca Black/PA Wire

Newry crowd applaud speaker over remarks to Conor Murphy on Paul Quinn controversy

Sinn Féin and the SDLP have called for the 50:50 Catholic:Protestant recruitment model in the PSNI. Photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

Almost 7,000 people apply to police force with 31 per cent from Catholic background

Traffic cones block the entrance to Cransley School in Northwich, Cheshire, England, which is closed for the rest of the week for a ‘deep clean’ after pupils and teachers came back from the Lombardy region. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Students from three schools in Waterford are being monitored following trips to Italy

Three British soldiers John McCaig 17 (L) his brother Joseph, 18 (R) and Dougald McCaughey (23) had been drinking in a Belfast city centre pub when they were lured to their deaths by the IRA. Photograph: PA

Killings of three Scottish officers in 1971 among most notorious of the Troubles

PSNI Inspector Marty Mullan said: “Sadly the female driver and male passenger of the Citroen were pronounced dead at the scene.” File photograph: EPA

Tragedy occurs in Ballymena area of Co Antrim

The North’s Deputy First Minister Michelle  O’Neill she and other party members were told an attack “could happen anywhere”. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Persuading more young Catholics to join the Police Service of Northern Ireland continues to be difficult

former Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt said ‘people’s values, people’s priorities, people’s needs are very different today’ from when partition began. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons /The Irish Times

“Wake up, the old certainties have gone,” says Mike Nesbitt at launch of sectarianism report

 The parents of murder victim Paul Quinn arrived at Stormont on Monday morning. Photograph: Alan Lewis

Murder victim’s mother calls on Sinn Féin minister to go to Garda and PSNI and give names of IRA men

Conor Murphy: The North’s Minister for Finance  has joined his counterparts in the Scottish and Welsh devolved administrations in seeking an urgent pre-budget meeting with the British government

Sinn Féin and DUP call on British exchequer to fund pensions for victims of the Troubles

A man is being treated for a gunshot wound in Belfast after being ordered to go to an address in the city where he was shot in the presence of a woman and four children.  File photograph: EPA.

Victim suffers thigh wound after two masked men direct him to home on Ardglen Place

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has accused Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin of ‘arrogance’ after he again ruled out entering a coalition government with her party.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Leader tells supporters SF ‘won the election’ and FF trying to deny people what they voted for

Outgoing Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith said the ‘warmth and support from people across Northern Ireland has been incredible’. File photograph: AFP

Smith is ‘one of Britain’s finest politicians of our time’, says Taoiseach

Kate Middleton holds a snake at the Ark Open Farm in Newtownards. Photograph: Chris Jackson/Reuters

Focus of visit on ‘healthy foundations’ for the young to ‘ positively affect lifelong outcomes’

Lyra McKee: the 29-year-old journalist was shot dead in Derry in April 2019. Photograph: PA/Jess Lowe

Journalist was shot dead by New IRA as she watched a riot in Derry in April

Robyn Peoples (L) and Sharni Edwards kiss after they became Northern Ireland’s first legally married same-sex couple, in Carrickfergus. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Robyn Peoples (26) and Sharni Edwards (27) thank campaigners as they make history

Lyra McKee: the 29-year-old journalist was shot dead in Derry in April 2019. Photograph: PA/Jess Lowe

Writer (29) shot dead while watching riot in Creggan area of Derry in April 2019

‘Stupendous’: Loretta McKee. Photograph: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press

Election 2020: Party supporters surprised and delighted at SF surge south of Border

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald celebrates with her supporters after being elected at the RDS Count centre. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Blunt Jim Allister perhaps closer to unionist mood on rise of Sinn Féin than DUP or UUP

 Police sources believe that the bombers attached the device to the wrong trailer. Photograph: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press.

PSNI believes Continuity IRA responsible for device on lorry which ‘could have caused death’

Sinn Féin finance minister Conor Murphy  at Stormont Buildings. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Paul Frew says Sinn Féin finance minister ‘shouldn’t have time to get his coat’

Newly appointed Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey barely had her feet under the desk before Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin was complaining about her appointment. The West Belfast MLA was in Magennis’s bar in central Belfast the night in January 2005 when Robert McCartney was stabbed and beaten to death. Photograph: PA

Backroom people with senior IRA pedigrees appear to wield considerable influence

Sinn Féin’s Northern justice  minister   Conor Murphy, party president Mary Lou McDonald and Northern party leader Michelle O’Neill. File image: Niall Carson /PA Wire

Party’s finance minister in North says he ‘unreservedly’ withdraws remarks about murdered 21-year-old

The RHI scheme was introduced in 2012 when first minister Arlene Foster was the minister of enterprise, trade and investment. File image: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

Controversy around the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme led to the collapse of Stormont

Handout photo issued by Police Service of Northern Ireland of (left to right) Dolores Kelly, Mervyn Storey MLA, First Minister Arlene Foster, PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne, Anne Connolly, Chairperson of the NI Policing Board, Gerry Kelly MLA, Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Deputy Chief Constable elect, Mark Hamilton, attending the launch of a new student officer recruitment drive by the PSNI at Garnerville Training College, Belfast. Photograph: PSNI/Stephen Davison/PA Wire

Chief constable welcomes attendance of Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Policing Board member Gerry Kelly

Lyra McKee was shot by a republican gunman while observing a riot in Derry in  April 2019. Photograph: Jess Lowe

Family query if police search operation in Derry on night of murder was justified

Pro-Brexit pins are seen on supporter’s jacket at Parliament Square, on Brexit day in London. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

Belfast European Commission office still holds to line that EU is Good for You

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks to the media during a visit to Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Photograph: David Young/PA Wire

Labour leader asserts it is ‘difficult to know’ if UK’s EU exit has brought united Ireland closer

Former PSNI deputy chief constable Stephen Martin  said he was shocked he was not on the shortlist. File image: Michael McHugh/PA Wire

Former acting deputy chief taking ‘legal advice’ over non selection for interview

North’s infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon speaking with media at the Balmoral MOT centre in Belfast.Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Faults discovered in lift equipment ‘came out of the blue’

 Order of Service for the funeral of Seamus Mallon, the former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, Monday January 27th, Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Mourners in Co Armagh celebrate Mallon’s legacy and vision of ‘shared home place’

The coffin of Seamus Mallon is carried to Saint James of Jerusalem Church in Mullaghbrack, Co Armagh. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

‘A kindly and attentive neighbour, a man of many talents who wasted none of them’

Seamus Mallon was an architect of the Northern Ireland peace process and a key figure in negotiating the 1998 Belfast Agreement. Photograph: PA

SDLP members past and present pay tribute to party heavyweight who has died aged 83

John Hume (left) and  Seamus Mallon address the media at Stormont, November 29th, 1999. Photograph:  Ferran Paredes/Reuters

Behind the spats was vital alliance of two of biggest men of modern non-violent nationalism

 Ulster’s Robert Baloucoune scores his side’s second try. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

'Two years in a row we won five pool games and booked ourselves a quarter-final'

Where Peter Casey wins his vote and who he takes votes from, could be a factor in the final outcome. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

If Peter Casey performs as well as he did in presidential election, he could be elected

The UFU president Ivor Ferguson said union members, many of whom rely on Translink for transport, were “outraged” by the advertisements.

Members claim ‘outraged’ and say livestock industry being ‘demonised’

Drug-related deaths involving cocaine in the North increased from 13 in 2017 to 28 in 2018,  the highest level on record. Photograph: Getty Images

People living in most deprived areas five times more likely to die from drugs

The British government is to provide a £2 billion injection of financial support to help the restored Northern Executive and Assembly begin working on a “sustainable footing”, Julian Smith, Northern  Secretary, has announced. Photograph:  Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Britsh government had announced £2bn to put Stormont on ‘sustainable footing’

INorthern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) (L) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill of republican party Sinn Fein/ Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/ Northern Ireland Executive/AFP/ Getty Images

Ongoing strikes planned over pay differences with their counterparts in England

Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in  Parliament Buildings, Stormont, on Monday. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Leaders meet Arlene Foster, Michelle O’Neill and members of Executive at Stormont

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood:  ‘This is an historic moment for Northern Ireland and for the LGBT community here as they have their love officially recognised.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Couples now entitled to register to marry but must allow for 28-day notice period

Taoiseach  Leo Varadkar  with Britain’s prime minister  Boris Johnson   inside Stormont Parliament Buildings.  Johnson promised a “bright future” for Northern Ireland.  Photograph:  Irish Government/AFP/Getty

British prime minister visits Stormont after Executive is re-established

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Féin, Northern Secretary Julian Smith, British prime minister, Boris Johnson and First Minister Arlene Foster of the DUP  at Stormont. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Cobwebs are blown off the machines of government as politicians and civil servants get back to business

DUP deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill, DUP First Minister Arlene Foster, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Julian Smith, with the new Northern Ireland Executive at Stormont House in Belfast. Photograph: PressEye/PA Wire

Varadkar to meet Johnson to mark resurrection of Executive

Following agreement of the New Decade, New Approach pact, politicians on all sides appear ready to tackle outstanding problems.

Politicians in North agree to move forward and avoid ‘refighting battles of the past’

Alliance party leader Naomi Long talks to the media in Stormont on Saturday. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Alliance leader Naomi Long appointed as justice minister

DUP leader Arlene Foster said ‘Lessons have been learned and it is time to get Northern Ireland moving forward again’. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Press Eye

First Minister, Deputy First Minister declare commitment to powersharing in North

DUP leader Arlene Foster leads her party MLAs back into the debating chamber in Stormont on Saturday. Photograph:  Paul Faith/AFP/Getty

DUP members vote in Sinn Féin’s Alex Maskey as speaker

Michael Maguire: ‘The way we in Northern Ireland are dealing with the past is broken’. Photograph: Pacemaker Press

Being Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland sometimes felt like ‘trench warfare’

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, deputy leader Michelle O’Neill  and party colleagues in the Great Hall of Parliament Buildings, Stormont, on Friday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

DUP, Sinn Féin give their backing to the British and Irish governments’ deal

Canvassing politicians were told repeatedly last year that the people wanted Stormont back so local politicians could tackle local problems. Photograph: Getty Images

Analysis: This deal has a chance if good faith, mutual respect and trust are applied

Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Northern Secretary Julian Smith issue a statement outside  Stormont on Thursday night. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

DUP’s Foster says agreement presents basis to re-establish Assembly

Tánaiste Simon Coveney (right) and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Julian Smith address the media outside Stormont on Thursday night. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Following hours of frustration and confusion, North’s parties emerge with agreement

Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Northern Secretary Julian Smith outside Stormont parliament buildings in Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Agreement is ‘filled with compromises’ but is ‘fair, balanced and inclusive’,Tánaiste says

Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Northern Secretary Julian Smith focused talks on Wednesday night on persuading the DUP and Sinn Féin to sign up to an agreement. Photograph: Presseye/PA Wire

Negotiations took place on Wednesday against the backdrop of a 12-hour strike by nurses

Sinn Féin said that ‘Westminster has never acted in Ireland’s interests and never will’.

Attempt aimed at safeguarding access to the key British market for Northern businesses

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the official opening of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in the RDS on Wednesday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Unionist politicians deplore decision by Minister for Justice to call off planned RIC commemoration

Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party Arlene Foster speaks to media in the great hall of Stormont Parliament buildings in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Dublin and London believe they have devised a ‘fair and balanced’ agreement to reinstate Northern Executive and Assembly

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