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Hidden in plain sight

The Police Service of Northern Ireland codenamed their processing of republican On The Runs "Operation Rapid". The same nickname could have been applied to this week's fast moving political crisis. During a 24-hour period it looked like...Show More Summary

NI On the Runs argument 'misplaced'

It looks as if we are in choppy waters with a real chance power-sharing executive could fall. Given that we had a breakdown of trust, it could be the Democratic Unionist party's calculation is that they would rather have that than be...Show More Summary

Good cops, bad cops

Nothing new in the DUP and Sinn Féin trading insults or claiming each other is pandering to extremes. But there seems to be an extra level of sophistication in the latest mirror image machinations between the two incumbents at Stormont...Show More Summary

The referendum effect

While Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness aims a few fresh barbs at First Minister Peter Robinson on the eve of another Sinn Féin Ard Fheis (annual party conference), others have been surveying the wider scene. The...Show More Summary

Stormont opposition no closer

Should Stormont have an opposition? That was a talking point back in 2012 when the Ulster Unionists were choosing a new leader. John McCallister advocated taking the party out of the Northern Ireland Executive unilaterally. Mike Nesbitt...Show More Summary

Politics 'red in tooth and claw'

So do you believe him then or do you believe him now? Part two of Eamonn Mallie's documentary, From Genesis to Revelation, contains an extract from my interview with Ian Paisley when he announced his decision to stand down as first minister in March 2008. "Q: Originally when you took office you said you wanted to serve a full four-year term. Show More Summary

Robinson says McGuinness 'dictator'

This is another row with a distinct edge between the DUP and Sinn Féin. What is different to some of the previous rows, where you got the impression that the main men in Stormont Castle had licensed their lieutenants to throw the odd...Show More Summary

Genesis to Revelation

It may be five and a half years since Ian Paisley stood down as Stormont's first minister, but there is no doubt the "Big Man" is still box office. Watching him in conversation with Eamonn Mallie for Monday night's BBC documentary "Paisley:...Show More Summary

Unmistakeable taste of freshly-picked cherries

According to the Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt, Richard Haass gave the Stormont parties only three options with his final seventh draft document - say Yes, say No, or take it back to your party. But don't - according to Mr Nesbitt...Show More Summary

Haass proposal document published

Although he is flying home without a deal, Richard Haass believes his efforts haven't all been in vain. The former US diplomat reckons he has made significant progress, especially on potential new institutions to deal with Northern Ireland's...Show More Summary

Back at a crossroads

It is 45 years since the former Northern Ireland Prime Minister Terence O'Neill made his famous televised pitch to moderate opinion in the "Ulster Stands At the Crossroads" speech. Intentionally or not, Richard Haass echoes Captain O'Neill's...Show More Summary

NI Haass talks end without agreement

Although he is flying home without a deal, Richard Haass believes his efforts haven't all been in vain. The former US diplomat reckons he has made significant progress, especially on potential new institutions to deal with Northern Ireland's...Show More Summary

Déjà vu, all over again

"Now is not the time for soundbites". That's what Tony Blair famously said before a previous crunch session of Northern Ireland negotiations. The former prime minister obviously didn't take himself too seriously as he then immediately...Show More Summary

Who was William Twaddell?

The Orange Order's "Camp Twaddell" has featured regularly in the news in recent weeks from gun attacks on police patrols nearby to a surprise visit by Russell Brand But how many...Show More Summary

Finding truth

So does the outcome of the Smithwick tribunal strengthen arguments for what Sinn Féin terms an independent international truth recovery process? Or does it, as the Ulster Unionists argue, deliver the death knell to the credibility of...Show More Summary

Conviction prompts fresh commentary

The conviction of Seamus Kearney for the 1981 murder of police reservist John Proctor has stirred a new round of political commentary on the Attorney General John Larkin's suggestion there should be an end to prosecutions for Troubles-era...Show More Summary

Scotland: staying 'rich and close'

The Scottish government says that if Scotland becomes independent, its future relationship with the rest of the UK will be "as rich and close" as the current relationship between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. A White Paper just...Show More Summary

MLAs almost united at Stormont

Monday's Stormont proceedings began with two examples of near unanimity. There was praise for the Redemptorist priest Fr Alec Reid's tireless work for peace, followed by condemnation of the masked men who hijacked a car, put a bomb inside,...Show More Summary

Haass continues NI peregrinations

Richard Haass and Meghan O'Sullivan are continuing their travels around Northern Ireland. On Wednesday, they were in Londonderry, Portadown, the Orange camp at Twaddell Avenue in Belfast and a Christmas shopping stop at Belfast's continental...Show More Summary

John Larkin 'is nothing if not his own man'

The words cat and pigeons came to mind when my colleague Vincent Kearney first broadcast his interview with attorney general John Larkin proposing a bar on Troubles prosecutions. Conspiracy theorists wonder whether Mr Larkin is flying...Show More Summary

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