Timeline for the new year

James Murray Brown outlines the likely timetable for restoration of the local institutions in Northern Ireland:

“Under existing legislation, Paul Murphy, the Northern Ireland secretary, will have to dissolve the assembly by March 21 to provide six weeks for campaigning. If the assembly is to be restored in time for elections, a deal will have to be struck by early March. Soon afterwards, party leaders depart for the US to participate in the annual St Patrick’s day festivities on March 17.”