Northern Ireland may have missed out on the world record for the longest period without a government in peacetime but there is certainly nothing to cheer about in relation to the protracted power vacuum at Stormont.
The former Mid Ulster MP Bernadette McAliskey was characteristically blunt at the weekend when she said that Stormont had failed to protect the human rights of the entire population and deserved to be `bull-dozed.
The visit to Ireland by Pope Francis next weekend will be a massive event at every level, with up to 500,000 people expected to attend the closing Mass of the World Meeting of Families at the Phoenix Park in Dublin.
The DUP plainly had no option other than to at least temporarily suspend Ian Paisley last month when he received the unprecedented punishment of a 30-day ban from the House of Commons for blatant breaches of parliamentary rules.
YESTERDAY marked the 20th anniversary commemoration of the Omagh bombing which took the lives of 29 people including a woman pregnant with twins. It was one of the worst atrocities during the violence which claimed thousands of lives over three decades.
THE travails of House of Fraser took a new turn yesterday when Mike Ashley's Sports Direct bought the troubled department store chain for £90 million, in a deal which saves it from going into administration.
While considerable attention has been focused on the Brexit withdrawal bill, another piece of legislation which could have far-reaching repercussions for the border has been making its way through Westminster largely unnoticed.
The sign mocking Willie Frazer's murdered father on a Newry anti-internment bonfire is a shameful act which reflects badly on those who were responsible and is unfortunately a further depressing example of the intolerant attitudes that exist in sections of our divided society.