Arts and Entertainment

A light-hearted play about Christianity written almost 20 years ago is at the centre of an “astonishing” censorship row after performances were cancelled by councillors in Northern Ireland who deemed it “blasphemous”.

Ian Paisley stepped down as Northern Ireland’s First Minister in 2008

The Rev Ian Paisley’s wrath for the unionist successor Peter Robinson who ‘broke his heart’

The veteran DUP politician has never recovered from Peter Robinson’s ‘plot’ to replace him

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson, left, and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness; McGuinness accused unionist parties of 'dancing to the tune of extremists'

First Minister Peter Robinson brands Martin McGuinness a ‘dictator’ over breakdown of talks on future of Northern Ireland

Nationalist leader had blamed unionists for former US diplomat Dr Richard Haass’s failure

Former US diplomat Richard Haass and co-chair Meghan O'Sullivan speak at the Stormont hotel in Belfast. Overnight talks failed to find agreement on any of three topics

Disappointment as Northern Irish deal eludes parties

“This process is not dead, but it is far from finished,” says American diplomat chairing talks

Northern Ireland peace process talks end in stalemate after last-ditch overnight negotiations fail to meet end-of-year deadline

No consensus reached on final set of proposals to deal with flags, disputed parades and the legacy of the Troubles

The News Matrix: Monday 30 December 2013

Firefighters rescue stranded seagull

Father Alec Reid;

Fr Alec Reid, priest who brokered peace in Northern Ireland, dies

Tributes paid to Father Alec Reid, trusted go-between of both the IRA  and British Government

Seanad referendum: Enda Kenny 'disappointed' as Government loses vote to abolish Irish parliament's upper house

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he is personally disappointed after his Government suffered an embarrassing defeat in a referendum to abolish the country's upper house of parliament.

Liam Adams arrives at Belfast Crown Court

Gerry Adams’ brother, Liam, found guilty of raping his daughter

Former IRA commander repeatedly abused Aine Adams when she was aged between 5 and 9

Ireland reunified – in its passports at least, which include a map of whole island

The new Irish passport includes verses in Ulster Scots as well as a map of the entire island for the first time.

Martin McGuinness stands in front of a projected image of bombing victim Tim Parry, during the press conference in Warrington

Martin McGuinness seeks reconciliation in an English town shattered by the IRA

David McKittrick reports on former terrorist’s visit to Warrington, where two boys died 20 years ago in bombing

Sinn Fein attacks NI Secretary over Omagh ruling

Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness has criticised the British government’s decision not to set up a public inquiry into the Omagh bomb attack which killed 29 people in 1998.

Andrew Maxwell finds independence a laughing matter

Edinburgh comedy review: Andrew Maxwell's Banana Kingdom - Alex Salmond, and the funny side of medieval theology

A year before the referendum,  Andrew Maxwell deserves credit for doing material about Scottish independence, not least because he’s a London-based Irishman whose jokes could easily divide the room. But such is his skill, charm and Banana Kingdom’s faultless construction that he takes the crowd with him.

A man cycles past a burning car after Loyalist protesters attacked the police with bricks and bottles

Police chief condemns 'mindless anarchy' after 56 officers are injured in Belfast protests

Police came under sustained attack by crowds 'intent on creating disorder'

Northern Ireland: Police on alert ahead of rival parades

Extra police will be deployed in Northern Ireland this weekend to deal with a number of potentially contentious parades involving both loyalists and republicans.

Austin and Oliver Stack (left to right), sons of Brian Stack, make a statement following a series of meetings with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

IRA finally admits killing prison officer Brian Stack during the Troubles

Chief officer of Portlaoise Prison was left brain-damaged and paralysed after he was shot in the back of the neck in Dublin in 1983

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee