Northern Ireland news

Key events since Martin McGuinness' resignation

Thousands attended the funeral of former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness at St Columbus Church in Derry. Picture by Mal McCann
Andrew Madden

THE 100 days from the resignation of Martin McGuinness have been among the eventful in politics since the Good Friday Agreement.

January 10: Martin McGuinness resigns as deputy first minister, collapsing the Stormont institutions and triggering a snap election. He cites the DUP's conduct over the botched Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and past behaviour, which he labels "arrogant". Looking visible frail, Mr McGuinness states that his health had "nothing to do" with the decision.

January 16: Secretary of state James Brokenshire announces a snap election for March 2.

January 19: The Foyle MLA announces his retirement from frontline politics in order to focus on recovering from a "very serious medical condition". In a statement, Mr McGuinness states that it had always been his intention to step down in May - but his health and the political crisis had brought events to a head.

January 23: At a Stormont press conference alongside Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and Mary Lou McDonald, Michelle O'Neill is announced as Sinn Fein’s new leader in the north. The former northern leader congratulates Ms O'Neill and says "I haven’t gone away, you know" - invoking a well-known republican phrase.

March 2: Election results mean the DUP are still the largest party in the assembly, however, their lead over Sinn Féin drops from 10 seats to just one and the unionists lose their majority at Stormont for the first time.

March 6: Talks begin at Stormont with the aim of setting up a new Executive. A three week deadline is set, at which point James Brokenshire must either call a new election or hand powers back to Westminster. Sinn Féin demands the DUP and the British government implement agreements previously made during the peace process, such as those regarding legacy and an Irish language act.

March 21: Martin McGuinness dies aged 66 at Altnagelvin hospital in Derry from a rare genetic heart condition.

March 23: Thousands attend the former deputy first minister's funeral in Derry, including Arlene Foster and former first minister Peter Robinson. Former US president Bill Clinton speaks at the service in St Columba's Church and urges politicians to "continue the work" Mr McGuinness started.

March 27: Deadline for talks passes without a resolution, Mr Brokenshire rules out another snap election and extends the negotiation period until Good Friday.

April 13: The new deadline passes and James Brokenshire issues an ultimatum, either another election will be called or direct rule will be imposed if a deal is not struck by early May.

April 18: British prime minister Theresa May calls a snap general election, putting the future of Stormont in further limbo. The secretary of state, however, insists emergency legislation to restore devolution can be initiated in May if an agreement is reached.

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