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Queen and Duke to visit Game of Thrones set

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will visit one of the few thrones in the British Isles that does not belong to them - by taking a tour of the Game of Thrones set in east Belfast.

Game of Thrones also features a would-be Queen with dragons - a creature the house of Windsor is yet to acquire. Credit: PA

Game of Thrones follows the epic battle for the Iron Throne, as north fights south in a dynastic civil war based on the Wars of the Roses.

The Royal Couple will tour the Painthall studios in the city's regenerated docklands where much of the popular HBO series is filmed.

Northern Ireland is fast developing an international reputation as a leading filming destination, with the powersharing administration at Stormont offering attractive incentives to producers to film in the region.

Game Of Thrones is estimated to be the biggest TV production in Europe and its first four seasons have been credited with bringing a direct economic benefit of £82 million to Northern Ireland, creating the equivalent of more than 900 full-time and 5,700 part-time jobs.

McGuinness: 'Dialogue not destruction is the way forward'

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness condemned the fatal shooting of Tommy Crossan, saying:

The people behind this killing are criminals and will further no cause through this shooting. Whoever carried out this act has nothing to offer the community and have no role to play in our future.

Dialogue not destruction is the way forward and while there may be a small minority of people who are trying to promote division and heighten tensions, let's be very clear, they will fail.The peace process is rock solid and all right thinking people across the community oppose and reject the actions of the people behind this murder.


Tebbit says he 'hopes' McGuinness is 'shot in the back'

Lord Tebbit has come under fire after suggesting he hoped Sinn Fein politician Martin McGuinness would be "shot in the back".

Lord Tebbit speaking in the House of Lords Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The former Conservative chairman, who was himself injured in the 1984 Brighton hotel bombing, suggested Mr McGuinness' presence yesterday at a state banquet with the Queen might anger hardline Republicans.

"There's always the possibility that a member of the Real IRA will be so outraged by Mr McGuinness bowing to the Queen that they might shoot him in the back for it. We can but hope," he said.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams expressed outrage at the comments, saying:

"To publicly advocate the assassination of Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness is a shocking throwback to a violent past from which we are seeking to move on."

Gerry Adams hails 'new and positive relationship'

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has welcomed improvements in relations with Britain. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has hailed a "new and positive relationship" between "all of Ireland and Britain" as it was announced that Martin McGuinness would attend an Irish state banquet hosted by the Queen.

"While Martin McGuinness's involvement in President Higgins's state visit may not be welcome by opponents of change, it is yet another example of Sinn Fein's commitment to an inclusive future based on tolerance and equality," he said.

He continued: "This decision may cause difficulty for some Irish republicans in light of ongoing difficulties in the north (of Ireland) but I would appeal to them to view this positively in the context of republican and democratic objectives and the interests of unity and peace on this island."

The banquet, in honour of Irish President Michael D Higgins, will be hosted at Windsor castle next week.

McGuinness: Resignation 'would achieve nothing'

Stormont's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said should the First Minister resign it would achieve "absolutely nothing".

Asked what he thought of Peter Robinson's threat to leave his post, he said: "I have to ask the question, what would that achieve?

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Stormont today. Credit: ITV News

"It could lead to an election and Sinn Fein has no difficulty with elections ... but what would that achieve? In my view absolutely nothing."

Mr McGuinness urged politicians to "stop the grandstanding" and stressed "steady leadership, responsible leadership" is needed going forward.


McGuinness & Villiers to hold talks on secret letter crisis

Stormont's Deputy First Minister will hold talks with the Northern Ireland Secretary as a political crisis triggered by the collapse of the Hyde Park bombing case continues to threaten the future of the devolved administration in Belfast.

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Credit: Will Oliver/PA Wire

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness and Theresa Villiers are set to meet at Stormont Castle to discuss the controversy that prompted First Minister Peter Robinson to threaten to resign.

The Democratic Unionist leader has effectively given the UK Government 24 hours to respond to his demand for a public inquiry into secret letters sent to IRA suspects that assured them they would not be prosecuted.

Martin McGuinness condemns Co Armagh 'explosion'

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has condemned a reported explosion in Lurgan, County Armagh.

Mr McGuinness wrote on Twitter:

Martin McGuinness resigns as MP to concentrate on Stormont politics

Martin McGuinness, left, engaged in an historic handshake with the Queen in June. Credit: PA

Martin McGuinness has resigned as Mid-Ulster MP.

He said this was in line with Sinn Fein's commitment to end double jobbing and planned to concentrate on his job as Stormont MLA and deputy First Minister.

Francie Molloy will run for the seat in his place.

Mr McGuinness said: "I am resigning as MP but I have no intention of leaving Mid-Ulster. South Derry and East Tyrone have suffered immensely as a result of the conflict.

"I will always be grateful to the people of this area for trusting me to represent them and their interests.

"I will of course continue to represent the Mid-Ulster constituency in the Assembly. I am honoured to do so both as an MLA and as deputy First Minister in equal partnership with Peter Robinson."

He was elected MP for Mid-Ulster in 1997.

Clinton praised for 'instrumental' role in peace process

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Credit: ITV News

The First Minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson praised US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her "instrumental" role in the peace process.

He said: "Very often, we will sit down, and somebody will mention someone who has claimed to be instrumental in the peace process, and Martin and I look at each other, and say 'Do you know them?'

"But you are one person who has consistently helped us. You have been a great friend to Northern Ireland."

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