Northern Ireland

Deirdre Heenan: Whatever the election outcome, it won’t alter dysfunction in North’s political system

It is no longer possible to paper over the systemic underlying political issues in Northern Ireland

Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O’Neill and leader Mary Lou McDonald: Sinn Féin have run a presidential-style campaign. PIcture: PA

The campaign trail for the local elections in the North was a dull and lacklustre affair which failed to ignite a weary public; even the media seemed bored. In many respects, there is nothing unusual in this. Compared to their counterparts in Britain, local councils in Northern Ireland have very limited powers.

Local government expenditure as a percentage of regional expenditure stands at a minuscule 3 per cent in Northern Ireland compared to 21 per ...