Sinn Féin’s  leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill (centre) and party president Mary Lou McDonald are seen with candidates and activists at the count centre on Saturday. Photograph: Getty

‘New era for Northern Ireland,’ says O’Neill as Sinn Féin claims historic victory in election

DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson: ‘The first speech is not about the cost of living or fixing our NHS... it is about a divisive Border poll within five years.’ Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Analysis: Seismic impact of a nationalist party in pole position cannot be dismissed

Big smiles: Alliance Party’s Patrick Brown, elected in South Down, takes a selfie with party leader Naomi Long, elected in East Belfast, at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast, for the Northern Ireland Assembly election count. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Naomi Long not triumphalist in speech as party representation more than doubles

Alliance Party’s Nick Mathison (right) celebrates his election at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

TUV’s Stephen Cooper couldn’t catch Nick Mathison in ninth count

 Elected Alliance candidates Kate Nicholl (l) and Paula Bradshaw (r) with party leader Naomi Long (centre) at the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Credible vote for former DUP leader Edwin Poots who was parachuted into the constituency

Sinn Féin’s Northern leader Michelle O’Neill with party president Mary Lou McDonald at the Magherafelt count centre in Co Derry. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty

Alliance Party exceeds wildest expectations with 17 seats, a gain of nine on 2017

Jim Allister speaks during rally against the Northern Ireland protocol organised by North Antrim Amalgamated Orange Committee, in Ballymoney, Co Antrim. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Assembly elections will reveal if relentlessly negative messaging can be turned into votes

Drummers march during the rally against the  Northern Ireland Protocol  in Ballymoney, Co Antrim. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Ballymoney rally told protocol opens up door to a united Ireland and therefore must go

RUC officer Colleen McMurray was killed in an IRA mortar bomb attack  in Newry, Co Down in 1992.

Police failed to disseminate intelligence about informant, Marie Anderson finds

Jeffrey Donaldson seems to have judged it was best to get the ball rolling early. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Talk of a unionist pact to avoid a Sinn Féin first minister is a reprise of an old tune

A vigil marking the 20th anniversary of the murder of investigative reporter Martin O’Hagan saw relatives, journalists and trade union representatives gather outside the Police Ombudsman’s offices in central Belfast on Tuesday. Photograph: Pacemaker

Family and colleagues mark 20th anniversary of Sunday World journalist’s killing

Dr Mary Hannon-Fletcher, who was paralysed in a loyalist gun attack in Belfast in 1975

Thousands of people badly injured in North’s violence can now apply for scheme

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar speaks to the media during a visit to InterTradeIreland’s offices in Newry, Co Down. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Tánaiste does not envisage gardaí policing parts of NI or PSNI policing parts of State

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has written to the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Charlie Flanagan. File photograph: Collins

Tánaiste apologises for failure to release texts as Cowen says Taoiseach needs to act as Zappone controversy continues

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has said she has contracted Covid-19. File photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister says she is currently self-isolating

Sinn Fein president Mary-Lou McDonald talking to the media while on a visit to Derry on Thursday. Photograph: Sinn Fein/PA Wire

Last year 30 parties in North took in £2,237,841 and spent £2,569,735

Northern Ireland’s Department of Health has reported 1,550 new cases of Covid-19. File photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

Northern Ireland’s Department of Health also records 1,550 new cases of disease

There were 49 Covid-19 deaths in the past seven days compared with 40 in the previous week. Photograph: iStock

State overtaking North in vaccine rollout a ‘significant factor’ in contrasting case rates

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

DUP trying to resolve how to get Donaldson back to Stormont for First Minister role

A man has been taken to hospital after a light aircraft crashed at Newtownards Airport. File photograph: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Man taken to hospital following incident at airfield in Co Down on Tuesday

The most recent figures show that Northern Ireland’s death rate almost doubled over the space of seven days. Photograph: iStock

12 more deaths and 1,648 new cases in North recorded on Tuesday

Anyone who could assist police with their inquiries is asked to come forward. Photograph: Paul McErlane/EPA

Arrest made after suspected arson attack in Co Down, another man hospitalised

Loyalists holding  a protest against the Northern Ireland protocol and the so-called ‘Irish sea border’ in Belfast on  July 3th, 2021. Photograph:   Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The challenge for the EU and Britain is to forge a deal ahead of the end of the second grace period in September

There has been a call for care home workers to get inoculated against Covid-19 as soon as possible. File photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

More than 100 facilities dealing with outbreaks as 1,641 new cases confirmed

 Northern Ireland Assembly speaker Alex Maskey  has announced his intention to retire from politics at next year’s election. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.

Michelle O’Neill says Stormont speaker has been a ‘ferocious champion’ for community rights

People queuing while waiting for the Covid-19 vaccine outside Croke Park, Dublin on Monday. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Government discussing guidelines with hospitality industry amid claims of inconsistency

Billy Hutchinson, leader of the Progressive Unionist Party, which is linked to the UVF, deplored the intimidation and said there was no place for sectarianism in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Peter Muhly

Intimidation in spotlight as Catholic mother and baby forced out by loyalist paramilitaries

Co-founder of the Association of Catholic Priests Fr Tony Flannery says bishops missed an opportunity to ‘relocate’ the preparation for sacraments from schools to parishes so ceremonies would be for only those who ‘really want it’. File photograph: iStock

Archbishop Dermot Farrell says many have concluded the ‘guidelines are discriminatory’

 Miami Showband’s  Tony Geraghty, Fran O’Toole, Ray Millar, Des McAlea (Des Lee), Brain McCory and Stephen Travers: murder of members was one of the most notorious incidents of the Troubles. Photograph courtesy of Stephen Travers

Move to end legacy civil actions and inquests likened to act by ‘former Soviet bloc countries’

Mo Hume, youngest of John and Pat Hume’s five children, at the family home in Derry, with a portrait of her father behind. ‘Life was really rich,’ she says. ‘I just remember lots of laughter and lots of stories.’ Photograph: Trevor McBride

As her father’s first anniversary approaches, Mo Hume tells of the immeasurable gap left behind

Businessman Gavin Duffy. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Third-party ads on social media site also promoted false claims on cryptocurrency

A social distancing sign in the Stormont Estate in Belfast. The North’s department of health has reported 1,471 new positive cases of Covid-19. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Exemption allowed after Executive eases restrictions on those travelling from EU and US

A  woman pushes her pram past a memorial to Stephen ‘Top Gun’ McKeag in west Belfast. One of his victims was 17-year-old Catholic Damien Walsh, who was shot dead in 1993. Photograph: Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

Known to few outside loyalist circles, Stephen McKeag left a trail of death behind him

The North’s Minister for Health Robin Swann: “The lack of discussion on this important issue in the Executive Committee means that I have been left with no choice but to issue the direction”. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/PA

Northern Secretary says he had no option but to intervene in abortion impasse

Relaxing in St Stephen’s Green, during the hot weather in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Swimming warnings issued for two Dublin beaches, while public urged to conserve water

The RUC chief constable at the time Sir Ronnie Flanagan stressed, as did the police ombudsman, that Damien Walsh was ‘completely innocent’ and not in any way linked to the IRA bomb operation. File image: Paul Faith/PA

British military personnel were ‘eyewitnesses to murder’ of Damien Walsh (17)

 DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said the British government was illustrating that the ‘protocol is not working’. File photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

British must not be allowed to renege on international law, insists Sinn Féin

Former health service official Cornelia Stuart was appointed by the HSE to investigate the Beacon Hospital surplus vaccine distribution incident. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Inquiry separate to that commissioned by Dublin private hospital’s own board

SDLP deputy leader Nicola Mallon speaking in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

SDLP Minister describes plan to end all prosecutions as ‘disgusting’

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

People aged 18 and over can register for mRNA vaccine from tomorrow – Donnelly

Northern  Secretary Brandon Lewis  speaking in the House of Commons. He said that in the autumn he proposed to bring in a statute of limitations banning all prosecutions of Troubles-related killings and other crimes. Photograph:  UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire

Northern Secretary says proposals are ‘painful recognition of the reality of where we are’

Family members of Ballymurphy massacre victims Eileen McKeown (left), daughter of Joseph Corr, and Mary Corr, daughter in law of Joseph Corr, at Springhill Community House in Belfast, watching Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis announcing the UK Government’s plans to introduce legislation to end all prosecutions related to the Northern Ireland Troubles before 1998. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Proposals characterised as ‘de facto amnesty’ for killers

British paratroopers take away civil rights demonstrators on Bloody Sunday after the paratroopers opened fire on a civil rights march, killing 14 civilians. Photograph: Getty

London denies this is a de facto amnesty for killers, but that is how it is being perceived

 Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis speaking in  the House of Commons on Wednesday. Photo: PRU handout/AFP via Getty Images

Victims groups and Irish Government criticise proposed amnesty announced by Brandon Lewis

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said for 50 years, Soldier F has been granted anonymity. Photograph: Margaret McLaughlin

The soldier has been accused of two murders on Bloody Sunday in 1972

PSNI officers at  a glamping site near near Limavady in Co Derry,  where a woman was fatally stabbed on Monday. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Police say victim and suspect were holidaying in Limavady area

A drummer with the Shankill Protestant Boys Flute band during a Twelfth of July march  in Belfast. Photograph:  Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

A Parades Commission ruling to march quietly past a Catholic church was obeyed to the letter and the spirit. That set the tone for(...)

The huge bonfire in Craigyhill, Larne, is lit on the Eleventh night to usher in the Twelfth commemorations. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

No reports of disorder but 17-year-old critical after becoming engulfed in flames at bonfire

The huge bonfire in Craigyhill, Larne, is lit on the ‘Eleventh night’ to usher in the Twelfth of July commemorations. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Hundreds of Orange Order parades to take place in more restricted and localised fashion

Body language: Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth in Northern Ireland in 2012. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty

The IRA had murdered Philip’s uncle Louis Mountbatten. Yet the duke did his duty

First Minister Arlene Foster said the DUP’s approach to abortion was that ‘both lives matter’. File photograph: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire

NI First Minister says with devolution restored matter is one for Executive, not Westminster

Loyalist protesters converge on Belfast City Hall in 2013 over removal of the union flag from the the building. File photograph: PA

Unionists link divisive ensign issue to rolling grievance – the Northern Ireland protocol

The North’s department of health said it was on track to have vaccinated the whole population by July. File photograph: Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images

Over 100,000 have received second dose as North reports no further virus-related deaths

So far 694,863 people have received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccines with 96,254 of them receiving two jabs. File photograph: Getty

NI happy to share spare vaccines with Republic but duty is to people in North – Swann

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said there was opportunity for further growth and development and also for joint North-South trade missions to promote investment.  Photograph: iStock

Cross-Border councils come together to promote investment and development along 100-mile east coast route

The scene at a house  at  Derrycoole Way, Newtownabbey, after police began  a murder investigation after three bodies were found at separate properties. Photograph: PA

It is understood a young man stabbed his mother and girlfriend on Friday night

The scene at a residential property in the Derrycoole Way, Newtownabbey, on Saturday. Photograph: PA Wire

Police believe man fatally stabbed his mother and his girlfriend before killing himself

 Northern secretary Brandon Lewis: Belfast High Court granted the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission leave to take action against him and the North’s Department of Health for failing to fully implement the new legislation. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Legal threat adding to pressure to bring in regulations to implement abortion services

It has been a year since the first Covid-19 related death in Northern Ireland. Photograph: iStock

A year after first reported Covid-19 death in Northern Ireland, death toll reaches 2,877

The proposal to erect the commemorative stone has proved divisive at Stormont, with Sinn Féin reacting to a proposal that it believes to be ‘symbolic of past failures’. Photograph: The Irish Times

Unionist leaders label move excessive and indicative of treatment if agreeing to unity

Nurses prepare vaccine jabs at the Lakeland Forum vaccination centre in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on March 12th. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/PA Wire

One coronavirus-related death and 169 more cases of Covid-19 reported in North

The PSNI has arrested two women  on suspicion of attempted murder. File photograph: PA Wire

Man also held after four women suffer stab injuries early this morning

 Dr Gabriel Scally urged the public for St Patrick’s Day: ‘Stick with people you live with and enjoy the outdoors, but not with large groups and not with people you don’t live with.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Pause of AstraZeneca rollout shows checks are working, says Scally

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee will also have to consider the outcome of the review and pass its recommendation to the office of the chief medical officer, who in turn advises the Minister for Health. Photograph:  Jens Schlueter/Getty

Review of jab by European Medicines Agency due to be completed on Thursday

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill of Sinn Féin told the Assembly that Sinn Féin would be abstaining in the vote. File photograph: PA Wire

Decision to abstain on Assembly vote draws criticism from both sides of abortion debate

Parliament Buildings, Stormont, which opened in November 1932. Photograph: iStock

Alex Maskey says it is ‘extremely positive’ five NI Executive parties could agree programme on partition

Some primary school pupils have been back in class in Northern Ireland since March 8th. File photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

First Minister announces ‘cautious’ easing of lockdown restrictions

People ‘can expect a robust response if they breach the rules’ on St Patrick’s Day. File photograph: EPA

People told to not ‘flock to beauty spots’ as police in North plan ‘substantial’ operation

Arlene Foster and Michelle O’ Neill personally intervene during NI abortion debate. File Photograph: Alan Betson

Foster warns of ‘slippery slope’ to ‘eugenics’ while O’Neill says NI ‘failing’ women by not introducing termination services

Prof Jim Dornan  lectured in Ireland and abroad on obstetrics. Photograph: Alan Lewis/Photopress

Tributes to doctor who left a ‘lasting legacy’ in obstetrics and foetomaternal medicine

Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer Michael McBride receives a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine from nurse Alana McCaffery at the Ulster Hospital Covid-19 vaccination centre in Belfast. Photograph: PA

NI still administering vaccine, use of which has been temporarily halted in the State

Talk of a bridge or tunnel being built between Britain and Northern Ireland ‘is ultimately a road to nowhere’, Alliance MLA Andrew Muir said. File image: iStock.

Proposed British-Irish link slated as a Brexit distraction and a ‘road to nowhere’ in North

Westminster committee told ‘anomaly’ is an ‘absurdity’ and a ‘gaping hole’ in human rights legislation. Photograph: PA Wire

Westminster committee told ‘anomaly’ is a ‘gaping hole’ in human rights legislation

Alan Rusbridger, former editor of Guardian Newspapers. Commission has unanimously agreed to support Rusbridger’s continued membership. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Minister says decision was ‘not arrived at lightly’ after criticism from Máiría Cahill

Máiría Cahill calls for resignation of Alan Rusbridger from  the State’s Future of Media Commission. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

State commission chairman apologises again for publishing Greenslade blog in Guardian

First Minister Arlene Foster was accused of sitting down with the Loyalist Communities Council and ‘seeking common cause in your opposition against the protocol’. Photograph: PA

Sharp exchanges in Assembly between DUP First Minister and senior Sinn Féin politician

P3 teacher Jessica Cargill with her class at Springfield Primary School in Belfast. File photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Department of Health reports two further deaths and 144 confirmed Covid-19 cases

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

HSE to begin vaccination of people between ages 16 and 69 with serious illnesses

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster: ‘In order to find a solution, you have to have people who are willing to look for a solution.’ Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

EU and Irish Goverment should take some responsibility for NI tensions - First Minister

The Parliament Buildings in the Stormont Estate in Belfast.  Prof Peter Shirlow said ‘the language of Irish unification is that of compromise and debate’. Photograph: Paul Faith

Advocates for union and for united Ireland at least agree ‘future must be about respecting diversity’

While mixed marriages have become more acceptable in  Northern Ireland, some  deep-seated attitudes remain.

‘If granny hates Catholics or Protestants then trouble can start ... but love can conquer all’

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet

Martin and Foster criticise protocol use to limit AstraZeneca supply to Britain

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood: ‘We face a common threat. Our response to this virus, and to the supply of vaccines, should be characterised by our common values.’ Photograph: Laura Hutton

SDLP’s Eastwood says AstraZeneca quarrel ‘disproportionate’ and ‘grave error of judgment’

 A health worker prepares to inject a first dose of a Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine shot at a  vaccination centre. Photograph: EPA

Foster describes move to trigger Article 16 of Northern Ireland Protocol as ‘act of hostility’

Sligo native Tommie Gorman started his journalistic career with the Western People in the late 1970s, moving to RTÉ as its northwest correspondent in 1980. File photograph:  Leon Farrell/

Broadcaster pays tribute to journalist saying he ‘earned trust of audiences, North and South’

Of the total Covid-19 related deaths, 1,487 took place in hospital, 687  in care homes, 13 in hospices and 168 at residential addresses or other locations. File photograph: iStock

Total of 2,355 Covid-related deaths in North since pandemic began, latest data shows

The poll of 2,071 adults across Britain and Northern Ireland revealed that 58 per cent said watching birds and hearing their song added to their enjoyment of life since the onset of Covid-19. Photograph: Fran Veale

Pandemic reigniting love of nature and awareness of wildlife, RSPB and YouGov find

The view from a Covid-19 recovery ward at Craigavon Area Hospital in Co Armagh. Northern Ireland has reported 13  more Covid-19 deaths. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Northern Ireland reports 13 more deaths and 592 new cases as number on ventilators rises

Irish Sea border criticised in graffiti on Sandy Row in Belfast: the sea border was introduced for trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK due to Brexit. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/PressEye

NI stability at risk as empty shelves, VAT and red tape stir up constitutional anxieties

Jim Allister: he  says  the Northern Ireland Protocol  is part of a plan to create “political unity” on the island of Ireland

TUV leader urges DUP and Ulster Unionists to unite with him against ‘perilous’ threat to union

First Minister Arlene Foster speaking at Stormont following the publication of the research report on mother and baby homes and Magdalene laundries in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Report sets stage for debate in North, with focus on who is to blame for abuses

Good Shepherd Catholic Church on the Ormeau Road in Belfast. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Foster acknowledges pain caused to thousands as survivors seek public inquiry

The poll carried out by LucidTalk for the Sunday Times found that 51 per cent of 2,392 people surveyed in Northern Ireland supported a referendum in the next five years.  Photograph: iStock

Unity referendum would be ‘incredibly divisive’, First Minister Arlene Foster says

There were 796 patients with Covid-19 in hospital on Sunday morning. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Department of Health reported 14 more deaths and 433 new cases on Sunday

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster said:  ‘I reassured the Minister that the overwhelming majority of people in Northern Ireland welcomed the support.’  File Photograph:  Liam McBurney/PA Wire

British military support to be used to curb spread of coronavirus, First Minister says

Merlin Holland: British biographer and the only grandchild of Oscar Wilde. Photograph:  Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images

The only grandchild of Oscar Wilde believes he knows why the playwright lost his case

Scornful hauteur: George Osborne. Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty

Former UK chancellor’s scathing comments must be demoralising for many unionists

Health minister Robin Swann: some Covid restrictions in North may remain after extended lockdown ends on March 5th. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes/PA Wire

Arlene Foster assured more British military aid available to combat coronavirus

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