Ballymurphy inquest: General’s ‘sympathy’ for relatives

General Sir Geoffrey Hewlett was commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment 1971

The former commanding officer of a key battalion in the Parachute regiment has said he has “enormous sympathy” for all relatives of those killed in the Ballymurphy shootings.

General Sir Geoffrey Howlett, 89, was giving evidence at the Ballymurphy Inquest.

It is examining the deaths of 10 people in west Belfast in August 1971.

The deaths followed three days of gunfire in Ballymurphy following the introduction of internment.

Ballymurphy shootings: Who were the victims?
General Howlett described the first day of interment in 1971 as “the busiest day of my life” and said of those shot in Ballymurphy that “most if not all were not IRA”.

Addressing the families
He expressed his sympathy after asking the coroner if he could address the families of the bereaved.

He addressed the families whilst looking across the courtroom at them in the jury area.

He said he had lost his own father, killed in Italy during the war, when he himself was aged just 13, and therefore knew something of bereavement.

General Howlett later rose to be commander-in-chief of Allied Forces in Northern Europe, retiring in 1989.

As Lt Col Howlett, he was commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, known as 2 Para.

The regiment was based in the Ballymurphy area at the time of the shootings along with the 1st Battalion (1 Para).

General Howlett was the officer who deployed B Company 2 Para to Vere Foster school and Henry Taggart Hall, both army bases on the Springfield Road.

Who were the victims?
Father Hugh Mullan, 38, and Francis Quinn, 19, were shot in an area of open ground behind Springfield Park
Daniel Teggart, 44, Joan Connolly, 44, Noel Phillips, 19, and Joseph Murphy, 41, were shot near the Henry Taggart Army base near Springfield Park
John Laverty, 20, and Joseph Corr, 43, were shot at separate points at the top of Whiterock Road
Edward Doherty, 31, was shot at the corner of Brittons Parade and Whiterock Road
John McKerr, 49, was shot outside the old Corpus Christi Parish
Six people died as a result of shootings in the area on 9th August 1971.

They were Father Hugh Mullan, Francis Quinn, Joan Connolly, Joseph Murphy, Noel Phillips and Danny Teggart.

General Howlett recalled meeting Father Hugh Mullan some weeks before the priest was shot dead.

He said he was sure that he had indeed been administering the last rites when he was shot.

“It was quite obvious Father Mullan was not part of the IRA” he said .

Of the other victims he said: “Whether they were IRA or not at the time I don’t think we quite knew.”

Father Mullan was killed in the same incident as Francis Quinn, on waste ground near Springfield Park.

The other four people fatally shot were in the Manse area opposite the Henry Taggart army base.

‘The UVF never took us on’
General Howlett said he was based on the Springfield Road at the time of the shootings on 9th August 1971, but came to Henry Taggart Hall in the late evening to resupply B Company with ammunition.

He described being ambushed on the journey. He said he believed that 30 to 40 rounds were fired at his land rovers when they entered the base.

He claimed the firing at them was coming from the south west.

Soldiers from the Parachute Regiment were based at Henry Taggart Army base

He described hearing later of the death of Father Mullan, and was surprised to read in recent years that the UVF now claim to have been operating in the area.

“The UVF never took us on” General Howlett told the court. “In fact we rarely saw them”.

Several times during his evidence, he said that his memories of the time had become “muddled”, but said he had better recollection of moments when he had been fired on.

“I find my memory of places and timing very difficult” he said.

‘Internment changed Belfast’
He remembered that it was not common practice to conduct a forensic examination of soldiers’ weapons after civilian deaths.

He also said that no soldier was disciplined over the events of 9-11 August.

He told the court that his brigade commander Brigadier Kitson had disagreed with the introduction of internment, and that no one had realised what it would lead to.

He said the introduction of internment had totally changed Belfast and created a “full-blown battle”.

He added he and his military colleagues were unprepared for “such a rebellious period, with as much rioting, shooting, petrol and nail-bombing as there was.

“I don’t think any of us were prepared for the big change.”

Relatives of some of the victims attended the inquest in Belfast

General Howlett recalled meeting Father Hugh Mullan some weeks before the priest was shot dead.

He said he was sure that he had indeed been administering the last rites when he was shot.

“It was quite obvious Father Mullan was not part of the IRA” he said.

Of the other victims he said: “Whether they were IRA or not at the time I don’t think we quite knew.”

Father Mullan was killed in the same incident as Francis Quinn, on waste ground near Springfield Park.

The other four people fatally shot were in the Manse area opposite the Henry Taggart army base.

Ten people were murdered in the shootings in Ballymurphy in August 1971

A regimental history from 1971 was read out to General Howlett, stating that the Paras had inflicted severe damage on the IRA on 9 August.

“I think that was our belief at the time” he said.

He accepted that their beliefs and thoughts at the time were mistaken.

He added, that later “we realised that most if not all were not IRA”.

The retired general agreed Daniel Teggart and Noel Phillips were not “members of the IRA firing at us”.

“I accept that” he said.

He added that he was not certain that the two men had not been associated with the IRA.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story

Related Topics
BelfastBallymurphy inquestBritish ArmyThe Troubles

 

Ballymurphy Inquest: Paratroopers ‘just opened up’ on group

Nine men and a woman were murdered in Ballymurphy in August 1971

Paratroopers “just opened up” on a group of people standing near their base, the Ballymurphy Inquest has heard.

The inquest is looking into the shooting dead of 10 people in the Ballymurphy area in August 1971.

They died during the first few days after the introduction of internment.

Four people died and several others were injured after what the inquest describes as “Incident 2”.

Who were the Ballymurphy victims?

Shooting witness suffers PTSD
Those who died in the shooting outside the Henry Taggart Memorial Hall, on the Springfield Road, were Joan Connolly, Joseph Murphy, Daniel Teggart and Noel Phillips.

The inquest has been listening to statements about the incident from those who are now deceased, cannot be traced or are too ill to attend and give evidence in person.

The former Henry Taggart Memorial Church Hall was being used as a base by soldiers from the Parachute Regiment.

The victims had been standing opposite, across the road in a grassy area where there had previously been the manse of a local Presbyterian minister.

Relatives and supporters gathered outside Lagan side Courts ahead of the start of the inquests

Several witnesses had given statements saying that around half a dozen paratroopers emerged from the base in the evening and “just opened up” on them with their SLR rifles.

The statements explained how some parents were out looking for missing children amid the arrests by the Army and general turmoil of the first day of internment.

Paul Connolly’s statement, given in recent weeks, told how his mother went to look for his sister and never returned.

‘They blew her face off’
Mr Connolly cannot attend the inquest due to ill health.

He explained how the next day his father went to find her.

He later returned to the family home and said: “It’s your mother, they blew her face off.”

Joanie Crone’s statement described how her husband Dessie had hidden in the field opposite the barracks as others were around him were shot and later managed to crawl to safety, despite continuing gunfire from the army base.

Two men described hearing a child crying in the darkness and how they managed to persuade him to crawl through a fence to safety.

The boy, Edward Butler, had been shot in the leg but survived, and is expected to give evidence in person in March.

Who were the victims?
Father Hugh Mullan, 38, and Francis Quinn, 19, were shot in an area of open ground behind Springfield Park
Daniel Teggart, 44, Joan Connolly, 44, Noel Phillips, 19, and Joseph Murphy, 41, were shot near the Henry Taggart Army base near Springfield Park
John Laverty, 20, and Joseph Corr, 43, were shot at separate points at the top of Whiterock Road
Edward Doherty, 31, was shot at the corner of Brittons Parade and Whiterock Road
John McKerr, 49, was shot outside the old Corpus Christi Parish
Joseph Murphy’s widow, May, described talking to him in hospital after the shooting, before his condition worsened, and he later died.

He described being taken into the base, and being beaten and kicked, with rubber bullets being fired into his body at point blank range.

Mr Murphy told his wife that his wounds, and those of others, were only dressed after the intervention of a younger soldier and an Army padre also in the base.

Willie Ward’s statement described how he ran to safety with others, only noticing later that he had been shot in the shoulder.

He sought treatment from his doctor, his statement said, but had not gone to hospital, because he had heard that anyone with a gunshot wound was being interned as a matter of course.

None of the statements contained any reference to a weapon being held by anyone in the area immediately opposite the barracks when the shooting began.

At the time. the Army told journalists that the soldiers had responded to gunfire and had shot gunmen, something the families of the victims have consistently denied.

Anonymity and screening
Later the coroner heard submissions on the issue of future military witnesses at the inquest.

Seven former soldiers called to give evidence have applied for anonymity and screening during proceedings.

Another soldier appeared under such conditions at the inquest in 2018, although relatives of the man he admitted shooting, Edward Doherty, were permitted to see his face while he gave evidence.

The barrister for the Teggart and Phillips families suggested to the coroner that the risk to the lives of some of the former soldiers giving evidence was “vanishingly small”.

He said screening and anonymity was not necessary.

He asked of former soldiers, called to testify: “Is there a single incident or instance in judicial proceedings in Northern Ireland of a witness being threatened, let alone being actually attacked or physically assaulted in any way?

“There aren’t any.”

Other barristers endorsed his comments.

The barrister for the Murphy family said some of the applications by former soldiers were “straight out of the theatre of the absurd”.

However, using recent statistics of terrorist attacks, a barrister for the Ministry of Defence argued that the risk to former soldiers was “real and continuing”.

Counsel to the inquest suggested that each military witness should be asked if he or she desires to be screened from the next of kin.

The court heard that this process has already begun.

With many thanks to: BBC News for the original story

Irish Famine: How Ulster was devasted by its impact

A cenotaph at Friars Bush cemetery in South Belfast commemorates 800 victims of the Famine. Image copyright © EAMON PHOENIX

As the annual National Famine Commemoration ceremony takes place in Northern Ireland for the first time, historian Dr Éamon Phoenix looks at its devastating impact on counties in Ulster.

The Great Famine of 1845-51 has the grim distinction of being the most costly natural disaster of modern times.

Ireland had witnessed a massive surge in population from 2.6 to 8.5 million by 1845 when blight struck the staple food of the masses – the potato.

Some 80% of this teeming population lived on the land, making Ireland one of the most densely populated countries in Europe.

Under a land system where most of the land was owned by the great Plantation landlords, vast numbers of the poorest ‘cottier’ class lived on ‘potato gardens’, often sub-divided among their sons.

By the 1840s, close on two-fifths of the population were totally dependant on the potato and it was the major food-source of the rest.

Between 1845 and 1849, the potato crop failed in three seasons out of four.

The result was starvation and the spread of the “road disease” – dysentery, typhus and cholera.

One million people died of hunger and disease during the crisis and more than one million emigrated, mainly to the United States – often in the notorious ‘coffin ships’, so-called because many people died because of the terrible conditions during the crossing.

In dealing with the crisis, the British government introduced ‘Outdoor Relief’ – the provision of soup kitchens in distressed area and public works, such as the building of roads and harbours.

However, these measures were woefully inadequate.

The country’s workhouses were grossly overcrowded, adding to the vast mortality.

The claim that the Famine did not affect Ulster has been debunked by recent historical research.

Between 1845-51 Ulster’s population fell by 340,000, a drop of 15.7% compared with 19.9% for the whole of lreland.

The greatest losses of population were in the south Ulster counties of Cavan, Fermanagh and Monaghan.

Fermanagh lost almost 30% of its inhabitants.

Tyrone, Antrim and Armagh were close to the national average with rates of around 15%.

Surprisingly, research shows that the events from 1845 to 51 affected normally prosperous parts of the north-east, including Belfast, north Down and particularly the linen triangle of north Armagh.

By December 1846 the first deaths from starvation were reported in the local press.

By early 1847 cholera was spreading in Fermanagh, with the Erne Packet reporting: “In Garvary Wood hundreds of corpses are buried, they were the victims of cholera and their relatives too weak to carry them to the graveyard.”

One of the most surprising aspects of the Famine was its searing impact on traditionally prosperous parts of eastern Ulster.

Particularly hard-hit was the Lurgan-Portadown linen triangle of north Armagh.

Lurgan Workhouse in 1847 recorded the third highest mortality of any workhouse in Ireland.

An inquiry blamed the crisis on overcrowding and the fact that the corpses of fever victims were interred beside the workhouse well. The result was a cycle of death.

In normally prosperous Newtownards, there were queues at the soup kitchen of “emaciated and half-famished souls”, covered with rags.

In 1847 the worst affected areas in Down included the Mournes and the fishing port of Kilkeel.

The reactions of the landlords varied. Lord Londonderry, the largest landowner in north Down, rejected rent reductions due to “personal inconvenience” and was much criticised.

Newry – the site of the all-island Famine Commemoration – became a key centre of emigration from south Ulster, with vessels carrying thousands direct to Canada and the United States.

Traumatic
Among these was the ill-fated ‘coffin ship’, the Hannah, carrying emigrants from South Armagh. Fifty people were drowned when it struck ice near Quebec.

The Famine had a traumatic impact on the growing industrial town of Belfast, which attracted large numbers of famished and disease-ridden people from all parts of Ulster.

In March 1847, typhus fever swept the town following the arrival in the port of the Swatara, an emigrant ship from Connacht.

The Plaguey Hill at Friar’s Bush Graveyard in south Belfast is a grim cenotaph commemorating some 800 victims of ‘Black ’47’.

The commemoration to mark the 170th anniversary has been held at the Albert Basin in Newry, County Down.

Attended by ministers from the Irish government and the Northern Ireland Executive, it was the high point of a week of talks, walks, music and drama about the tragedy.

In her remarks, the Irish Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, recalled how in Newry workhouse all the health professionals died of fever.

“A point that has struck me forcibly is how the legacy and memory of the famine is deeply ingrained in the collective memory of the host community in Newry,” she said.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story.

 

Clifftonville football player and convicted pervert and sex offender should be forbidden to play as a professional Irish Football Leage player he is a convicted sex offender and should be treated as so. Let the bastard sign on the dole

Cliftonville drop Jay Donnelly after image conviction

Jay Donnelly admitted distributing an indecent image of a child

An Irish Premiership football club has dropped one of its most prominent players for a match this weekend after he was convicted of distributing an indecent image of a child.

Cliftonville striker Jay Donnelly had continued to appear for his club after the allegation emerged.

The 23 year old admitted the charge last Friday and will be sentenced in January.

A separate count of taking or making an indecent photograph was withdrawn.

The north Belfast club said it is “dealing with a very sensitive and delicate matter” in relation to Donnelly.

‘Difficult to resolve’
It said its committee had been “availing of advice from all parties involved, as well as support organisations” because it wanted to make sure it acted “correctly when dealing with legal and employment matters”.

“We assure all that this situation is extremely difficult to resolve and ask our supporters and indeed the media to please bear with us as we seek a resolution,” the club added.

“Having spoken to all parties and Jay Donnelly, it has been decided Jay will not represent Cliftonville Football Club in [Saturday’s] fixture with Dungannon Swifts.”

The club added that it had received legal advice not to comment further on the case.

Donnelly will not play for Clifton ville in their game against Dungannon Swifts

The Belfast Feminist Network was due to hold a protest against Donnelly’s inclusion in the team at Cliftonville’s Solitude ground on Saturday.

It has since called off the demonstration due to the club’s decision to drop the player.

‘Tackle misogyny robustly’
“We’re pleased that he’s not playing – that was our initial ask,” Elaine Crory from the organisation told the BBC’s Evening Extra programme.

But she said the club “could go further” by explaining what would happen next.

“Will he be playing in the coming weeks?” she asked.

“He won’t be sentenced until January so it remains to be seen what Cliftonville plan to do with him over the next couple of weeks and indeed into the future.”

Ms Crory said the Belfast Feminist Network sent a list of questions to the club about how it had handled the issue but did not get answers to all of them.

She called on all sports clubs to make sure they are “dealing with misogyny as robustly as they deal with sectarianism”.

On Friday, Cliftonville’s first team coach Neil Adair posted on Twitter that he had resigned from his role.

The Court Service has confirmed that Donnelly was convicted of one charge – distributing or showing an indecent image of a child on a date between June and October 2016.

Pre-sentence reports have been ordered before Donnelly, of Ardilea Drive in north Belfast, is due back in court early in the new year.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story.

 

Imperva creates 220 cyber-security jobs in Belfast

This company seems to have set-up companies in Israel. So I don’t know what Israeli connection they have. BDS

A range of positions are being created across the company

A Silicon Valley cayber-security company is creating 220 jobs in Belfast.

Imperva is establishing a new base in the city and aims to create the jobs over the next three to five years.

Invest Northern Ireland has offered more than £1.4m towards the creation of the roles. The average salary on offer is more than £30,000.

Imperva already has bases in California and Israel, and the company said it was setting up in NI to “tap into the tremendous talent in the region”.

NI hub for cyber-security experts
There are a range of positions being created across the company and they will provide opportunities for graduates and experienced staff.

‘High-level education’
Yoav Cohen, from the company, told BBC News NI it had been liaising with the universities.

“We chose Belfast because of the large population of cyber-sec experts in the region, which is supported by high-level education in that field,” he said.

Chris Hylen, President and CEO of Imperial (center), with the company’s leadership team. Image Copyright © LIBBY GREENE/NASDAQ INC.

“We are working with Ulster University and Queen’s University and we have attended graduate recruitment fairs.

“We are living in a more digital and connected world and rely on apps and data on a daily basis.

“Imperva helps protect these applications from cyber criminals who seek to gain financial reward by extortion or selling our private data online.

“We are part of a group of successful cyber-group companies, which chose Belfast as the area in which they want to grow.”

The company said setting up in Belfast would allow it to support customers in Europe.

Alan Wilson, from Invest NI, said the Imperva move was the largest cyber-security investment into Northern Ireland so far.

“This has come on the heels of several other investors and they are coming for a reason – primarily because we have the best talent for cyber-security globally.”

Imperva’s project could have gone anywhere, he added, so Invest NI’s support of £1.4m was necessary to bring the jobs to Northern Ireland.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story.

Related Topics
Cyber-securityBelfastNI economy

Belfast firm in PM’s trade missiion to Africa

Pigs in field

Devenish focuses particularly on the pig and poultry sectors

Representatives from a Northern Ireland agriculture firm are set to travel to Africa with the prime minister on Tuesday.

Devenish, which is based in Belfast, is one of 29 businesses from across the UK involved in the trip.

The company makes animal feeds and nutritional products with a particular focus on the pig and poultry sectors.
Number 10 said the delegation will visit South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

It will be Theresa May’s first visit to the continent since becoming prime minister in 2016.

Agriculture firm gets £26m European loan
During the trip UK business leaders will build “new investment, trading and export ties” with emerging markets, according to Number 10.
‘Significant opportunity’

In a statement, Mrs May said she was “very pleased” Devenish are taking part in the trip.
“Devenish is an excellent example of the kind of forward-thinking company which is driving economic growth and prosperity both here in the UK and overseas,” she added.
Richard Kennedy, Group CEO of Devenish said Africa “represented significant opportunity” for his firm.

“We already have a presence in Africa which we are focused on growing, organically and through acquisition,” he said.

“It is important for us as both exporters and potential investors to build strong relations on the ground and this trade mission is a valuable opportunity to do so.”

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original posting.

British Prime Minister Theresa May pondering to the DUP and ignoring the wishes of a majority of the ‘Six Countie’ electorite over Brexit and who voted to remain in the EU

Theresa May was speaking during a visit to the North of Ireland on Friday

The European Union must “evolve” its position on Brexit and not fall back on unworkable proposals regarding the Irish border, Theresa May has said.

The prime minister made the remarks in Belfast on Friday, during a two-day visit to Northern Ireland.

The issue of the Irish border has been the key sticking point in Brexit talks so far.

The UK and EU have agreed that there should be no hard border in Ireland, but are at odds over how to achieve it.

IMF: Ireland faces hit from ‘no deal’ Brexit
Leadsom: Chequers plan is ‘final offer’
Barnier questions May’s Brexit plan

Q&A: The Irish border Brexit backstop
The backstop solution is effectively an insurance policy – to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if appropriate customs arrangements cannot be agreed by the EU and UK in time for the end of the transition period in December 2020.

The EU has proposed a backstop that would mean Northern Ireland staying in the EU customs union, large parts of the single market and the EU VAT system.

However, the UK said that would effectively create a border down the Irish Sea.

On Friday, Mrs May again repeated her opposition to that, saying: “The economic and constitutional dislocation of a formal ‘third country’ customs border within our own country is something I will never accept and believe no British prime minister could ever accept”.

She also said both sides in the negotiation “share a determination never to see a hard border in Northern Ireland”.

“And no technology solution to address these issues has been designed yet, or implemented anywhere in the world, let alone in such a unique and highly sensitive context as the Northern Ireland border”.

However, EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has questioned Mrs May’s plan for a future trade relationship with the EU, saying it could weaken the single market and create burdens for businesses.

Michel Barnier has asked the UK for clarification on its Brexit White Paper He said the UK’s Brexit White Paper, published on (Orange day) 12 July, opened, “the way to constructive discussion” but must be “workable”.

Mr Barnier questioned whether plans for a common rulebook for goods and agri-foods were practical.

Earlier this week, the government backed an amendment to its Customs Bill that would make it illegal for the North of Ireland to be outside the UK’s customs territory.

Mrs May said the EU’s backstop proposal would be a breach of the Belfast Agreement – and that her plan, agreed by the Cabinet at Chequers earlier this month, was the best way forward.

Skip Twitter post by @simoncoveney

If UK Govt don’t support current EU wording on Backstop in draft Withdrawal Agreement, then obligation is on them to propose a viable and legally operable alternative wording that delivers same result: no border infrastructure. Clear UK commitments were made on this in Dec+March.

Report
End of Twitter post by @simoncoveney

“What I’ve said to the EU is that the legal text they’ve produced is not acceptable, that’s why we proposed an alternative to that,” she said.

She said there now needed to be a renewed focus on EU-UK negotiations with “increased pace and intensity”.

The prime minister also met several of the political parties in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald said the visit was “anything but reassuring”.

Arlene Foster called on the EU to show more flexibility in the negotiations around the Irish border

“In fact it’s now clear the British prime minister has come here to pick a fight with Ireland and to pick a fight with the EU,” Mrs McDonald said.

However, the DUP leader, Arlene Foster, defended the prime minister.

 

“What she has done is set out her agenda, that’s very important. She talked about working together to find solutions, and the need to work collaboratively,” she said.

Theresa May wants a backstop that would see the whole of the UK staying in the customs union for a limited period of time after the transition period – something the EU has said is unacceptable.

 

‘Do not accept that legal text’
Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley told BBC’s Good Morning Ulster programme the government was committed to getting a legal text for a backstop.

Earlier, the Irish Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) Simon Coveney tweeted that if the UK did not accept the EU wording on a backstop in the draft withdrawal agreement, they would have to propose an alternative that would deliver the same result.

End of Twitter post by @KellyBonner

Reacting to his comments, Mrs Bradley said while the EU had put forward a legal text, “we do not accept it”.

“We’ve put forward a counter proposal and we’re now working on how we get a backstop that we are committed to delivering but it has to be a backstop that respects the integrity of the whole UK and does not put a border in the Irish sea.”

The PSNI and Gardaí (Irish police) stand exactly on the border in Belleek, County Fermanagh, ahead of Theresa May’s visit
The Shadow Secretary of State, Tony Lloyd, told the BBC Labour had always been “very clear” that the UK should be part of the customs union.

EU and UK negotiators have been meeting in Brussels this week to discuss the border issue.

Irish PM steps up Brexit preparations
Brexit: All you need to know
What do the EU’s ‘no deal’ preparations say?

Friday’s speech in Northern Ireland marks the prime minister’s first major attempt to sell the Chequers agreement since it was reached by her cabinet earlier this month.

She is due to tour other parts of the UK over the summer in an attempt to persuade businesses and citizens of its benefits.

Both the UK and EU are stepping up preparations for a “no deal” Brexit.

The two sides insist it is not what they want – and that reaching a deal by the autumn is still very much on the cards.

But they have yet to agree how their final relationship will work, with key issues around cross-border trade unresolved, and the UK’s official departure date of 29 March 2019 fast approaching.

The Republic of Ireland will remain within the EU and Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar has said his government is making contingency plans for “the unlikely event of a no-deal hard Brexit”.

Mrs May also addressed the impasse at Stormont.

Northern Ireland has been without a government for 18 months, after power-sharing between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin collapsed.

She added that until devolution is restored, the government would fulfil its responsibilities but warned interventions from Westminster were “no substitute” in the long-term.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story.

BelfastTheresa MayBrexit