Michael D Higgins has been a hugely respected Irish first citizen for the last seven years and the weekend confirmation that, by a significant majority, he is to serve a second term was richly deserved.
BELFAST received some good news yesterday when it was announced that the city council has approved an application for a 'conservation led' plan to restore the Bank Buildings which was destroyed by fire in August.
In the absence of devolved structures, politicians in Britain appear to be taking much greater notice of major issues in Northern Ireland and seem particularly alarmed at the state of our health system.
The speaking of Irish in the House of Commons yesterday for what is believed to be the first time since partition was an important symbolic moment for which the Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts deserves full credit.
While there had been concerns about the future of a scheme providing GAA and soccer coaching for schoolchildren, news that funding has now run out is a bitter blow to all those involved in this initiative.
The pictures we publish today of 14-year-old Patrick Burns, who suffered head wounds and extensive bruising when a gang attacked him with knuckledusters and a hammer near his north Belfast home, are deeply disturbing.
On this day 25 years ago, Sean Kelly and Thomas Begley carried a bomb into Frizzell's fish shop on the Shankill Road - an act of terror that irrevocably changed their lives and that of the men, women and children caught up in that terrible atrocity.
The DUP was the only one of the main Stormont parties which was unable to find a single representative who was prepared to travel to Dublin for the official reception marking the visit of Pope Francis in August.
BURGLARS broke into a church and a restaurant in the same Co Tyrone town at the weekend, stealing cash registers and causing damage to both buildings in the process sometime between late Saturday and early Sunday.
THERESA May's intervention at a summit of European leaders in Brussels this week had, in some quarters at least, been expected to mark a decisive step in Britain's stuttering negotiations to leave the EU.
It is striking that the author who has just been named by a London jury as the winner of the Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in international literature, was a pupil at Holy Cross primary school in north Belfast's Ardoyne district during a time of enormous upheaval.