Insights from the UK and beyond
Second only to body language, the colour of a politician’s tie can speak volumes.
Northern Ireland’s political leaders are particularly careful about the message they send out in a community in which green represents the mostly Roman Catholic aspiration for a united Ireland and orange symbolises centuries of Protestant affinity to British rule.
The atmosphere of good humour and relief that accompanied a deal to devolve all-important police and justice powers to Belfast was not quite enough to persuade the rival parties to switch sartorial allegiances.
Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of nationalist party Sinn Fein began his address to a crowded news conference with a speech in Irish.