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Scheduled sitting of Stormont axed after talks collapse

  • WATCH: DUP leader Arlene Foster and Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill on the collapse of talks at Stormont

A scheduled sitting of the Stormont Assembly to nominate new ministers has been axed after talks to restore power-sharing collapsed.

The decision makes it all but inevitable that Monday’s deadline of 4pm to form an executive will pass without agreement.

The situation means that Secretary of state James Brokenshire must decide whether to call another election or impose direct rule.

The DUP has blamed Sinn Féin for refusing to nominate, describing it as “regrettable”.

However, Sinn Féin has countered that by saying they wanted to make the institutions work, but the DUP “maintained their position of blocking equality for citizens”.

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Elderly woman escapes injury in Armagh burglary

Police are investigating the burglary in Co Armagh. Credit: Presseye

An elderly woman has escaped injury in a burglary at her home in the Forkhill area of Co Armagh on Sunday.

Two men entered the premises in the Church Road area sometime after 5pm, speaking to the woman before searching through the property.

Both men are described as being aged in their 20s and around 5ft 10ins tall.

Nothing is believed to have been taken in the incident, but police are investigating.

PSNI Detective Constable Skillen said: “I would appeal to anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in or around the area on Sunday to contact detectives in Ardmore on 101.

“Information can also be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Body of missing crew member identified

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Captain Mark Duffy, winchman Ciaran Smith and winchman Paul Ormsby (from the top left, clockwise). Credit: Irish Coast Guard

The body of the crewman recovered from the wreckage of an Irish Coast Guard helicopter that crashed in the Atlantic has been identified as that of Captain Mark Duffy.

The remains were discovered on Friday in the cockpit of Rescue 116 off Blackrock island, about eight miles off the coast of Co Mayo.

The wreck lies 40m down with divers needing swells below 3m for a safe recovery operation.

Attempts had been made on Saturday to retrieve the body, but conditions proved too difficult.

Captain Duffy's body was escorted to the pier in Blacksod where a white tent was erected to allow a doctor to carry out an examination before the body was transferred to a hearse.

The coffin, draped in the Irish flag, was driven off the pier with a lone piper leading the cortege.

Behind the hearse two lines of Irish Coast Guard staff and others involved in the search and recovery over the last 12 days formed a guard of honour.

A post-mortem is to take place in Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar.

The body of Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, a 45-year-old mother-of-one, was the first one of the four crew to have been recovered from the ocean.

The search continues for the bodies of the other two crew members, Winchman Ciaran Smith and Winch Operator Paul Ormsby.

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NI beat Norway in World Cup qualifier

Jamie Ward scored the opener for NI against Norway. Credit: Presseye
  • NI 2 – 0 Norway

Northern Ireland have beaten Norway in their World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park on Sunday night.

Goals from Jamie Ward and Conor Washington sealed the win for Michael O’Neill’s side.

The result boosts Northern Ireland’s bid to reach Russia in 2018, putting them on 10 points as they sit second in their group.

NI fans are hopeful of reaching Russia. Credit: Presseye

Sufficient progress ‘not achieved to form Executive’ – Foster

DUP leader Arlene Foster has accused Sinn Féin of not wanting to secure agreement to restore power-sharing at Stormont after they said the process had “ran its course”.

"While regrettable the reality is that sufficient progress was not achieved in the time available to form a new Executive,” she said.

“The DUP was ready to form a new administration without pre-conditions so as to allow us to have a budget and to deal with the many matters that currently face the people of Northern Ireland.

“Negotiations will only ever be successful when parties are prepared to be flexible in order to secure outcomes. To date there was little to suggest that Sinn Fein want to secure agreement.

“At every opportunity they have resisted involving the other parties and consequently no round table discussions were possible during this round of discussions. Any future discussions will have to built on a more solid footing.

“Throughout the course of Saturday Sinn Féin behaved as if they were the only participants whose mandate mattered. This cannot and will not be the basis for a successful outcome.

“The DUP stands ready to continue to discuss how we can secure new arrangements for Northern Ireland."

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