Sinn Fein politician and Deputy First Minister in Stormont Executive
After a visit from Sinn Féin’s vice president last week, Cobh and Harbour Chamber posted online that “First Minister Michelle O’Neill” had visited their offices. It was an easy mistake to make, but the truth is that Ms O’Neill could still be the first minister who never was.
Eleven years ago, I attended the funeral of Michaela McAreavey in St Malachy’s Church, Ballymacilroy, Co Tyrone. It was an unforgettable day, for many reasons. One of which was that it seemed the universal revulsion at her murder on honeymoon in Mauritius had brought out the best in people here.
Oh how the tables have turned. Stormont’s top two parties are now playing exactly the reverse roles to the ones they had the last time our devolved institutions weren’t functioning.
In a lengthy article in the Belfast Telegraph, Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out his stall on the current issues around the Northern Ireland Protocol. He stressed that it needs to be fixed – not ditched entirely. Here's how politicians reacted:
Ian Paisley MP has sarcastically quipped that he needs to “lie down and recover from the shock” of Sinn Fein’s Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill using the term ‘Northern Ireland’ for the first time on record.
The eagerly anticipated BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends starts tomorrow. It might seem unlikely but this novel by a thirtysomething bestselling writer has much to teach the crusty veterans of political conflict in Northern Ireland.
So how will we fill this weekend then? Now that candidates, counting staff and commentators have reintroduced themselves to their families, here are 10 random reflections on where we go after an election both dramatic and seismic. Who knows, one day it might even produce an Executive.
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