Although previous speculation about the return of the Stormont power-sharing structures has regularly proved wide of the mark over the last year, there are growing indications that a deal may finally be emerging.
The population of Ireland's offshore islands has fallen steadily in the modern era, but for a number of reasons, primarily the determination of the residents, the rate of decline has eased in recent years.
When it emerged that Channel 4 was planning a new entertainment show called Derry Girls, based on the lives of a group of teenage girls in the city at the height of the Troubles, the prospects did not seem particularly good.
While the talks grind on at Stormont with no apparent sign of a positive outcome, we can only wonder how much attention is being focused on the consequences for the Northern Ireland economy if there is no agreement.
Having come under intense pressure from the hardline Eurosceptics in her party, Theresa May has ruled out staying in the customs union, a move that has heightened fears over a hard border in Ireland when Britain leaves the EU.
There will be a strong welcome for the safety improvements which are to be introduced on a key part of the A1 dual carriageway between Belfast and Newry, with work starting this Sunday and expected to last for three weeks A new central reserve barrier is to be installed on the Banbridge bypass at a cost of £200,000, and temporary traffic arrangements, including lane closures and speed restrictions, will be in place until the project is completed.
THE experience of a Co Antrim couple when the flu symptoms being exhibited by their seven-year-old daughter rapidly deteriorated to the point where she was left fighting for her life must have been terrifying.
The horror and scale of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, which claimed the lives of 71 victims in June last year, shook public confidence in high rise residential blocks and required an urgent review of safety measures and building regulations.
The vast majority of people reading the details of the horrific murders and lengthy list of shocking paramilitary crimes committed by Gary Haggarty, will share the view of victims' families that the six and a half year sentence handed down by Belfast Crown Court does not represent justice.