A counter protest by loyalists  at an anti-internment march in Belfast city centre, which passed off peacefully. Past conflict continues to feed present anger but could that alone restart conflict?  Photograph: Mark Marlow/PA

Fifty years after the Civil Rights Association was beaten off the streets northern nationalists are once again a “restless people”, SDLP leader Colum (...)

Alex Maskey: he said the North was a “unionist-dominated apartheid state, founded on religious and civil discrimination, and which denied citizens fundamental rights such as the right to vote”

Sinn Féin Northern Assembly member Alex Maskey has provoked another social media quarrel as talks continue to restore Stormont. This follows his descr(...)

Belfast’s Westlink dual carriageway. “A motorway between Belfast and Derry might have a weak financial case but as a way to knit Northern Ireland together it would have been unsurpassed.”

In the week leading up to Stormont talks, which restarted yesterday, the topic that captured imaginations in Northern Ireland was a bridge to Scotland(...)

The Battle of the Somme memorial on the Shankill Road, west Belfast.

I am in the elegant lobby of the Europa Hotel, Belfast, but I could be anywhere. Around me are an eclectic ensemble of businessmen, shoppers, harassed(...)

Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP, delivering the annual Parnell Commemoration Lecture and graveside oration,  at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, last weekend. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Politicians must demonstrate the same level of courage as the leaders of the civil rights movement half a century ago to ensure that powersharing gove(...)

Robin Bell (left)  a UDR member was shot in an IRA ambush in 1972. The next day Catholic farmers, Michael Naan and Andrew Murray, were stabbed to death by members of the British army.

Early one Sunday morning in 1972, Robin Bell set off for the family farm a few miles up the road in Newtownbutler, Co Fermanagh with his father Sidney(...)

 Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams: he comes to the fore only during major political crises, which he is always largely responsible for causing. This increasingly makes him look like a one-trick troublemaker. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

When events require media criticism of Gerry Adams, the response from the Sinn Féin faithful follows a pattern: you’re obsessed with Adams, you don’t (...)

Jim Sharkey, who has died in his 100th year, was known in his home city of Derry as a “labour man”. He spent much of his life working for an economica(...)