In Pictures: Northern Ireland’s turbulent 2020

Royal visits, legal firsts, a breakthrough at Stormont, and of course – the pandemic; here are some of the best images from the PA news agency’s Northern Ireland photographers during 2020.

Boris Johnson, Arlene Foster, Michelle O'Neill and Julian Smith
Boris Johnson, Arlene Foster, Michelle O’Neill and then-Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith at Stormont, as the devolved administration was restored in January after three years of bitter stalemate (Brian Lawless/PA)
Same-sex marriage ceremony
In February Robyn Peoples, 26, and Sharni Edwards, 27, became the first couple to have a same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland at a ceremony in Carrickfergus (Liam McBurney/PA)
Duchess of Cambridge and an alpaca
The Duchess of Cambridge strokes an alpaca during a February visit to The Ark Open Farm, at Newtownards, near Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)
New Northern Ireland Secretary
Newly appointed Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis in an anechoic chamber, during his visit to CSIT Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast at the start of the year (Brian Lawless/PA)
Covid-19 testing
A nurse demonstrates Covid-19 virus testing procedures at Antrim Area Hospital in March (Michael Cooper/PA)
Rows of graves
Rows of graves are prepared in Sixmile Cemetery in County Antrim as the coronavirus death toll rose in April (Niall Carson/PA)
Boy bangs his drum
Thomas Black, four, from Market Hill in County Armagh, bangs a Lambeg drum to salute local heroes during a nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic (Niall Carson/PA)
Clapping for carers
Healthcare workers watch as a convoy of buses beeping their horns passes Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry during Clap for Carers in April (Brian Lawless/PA)
Gorse fire
Firefighters tackle a gorse fire in Newry in April (Niall Carson/PA)
An angler
An angler fly fishing on the bank of Ballysallagh Lower Reservoir, as anglers were allowed to go fishing again in May as the lockdown eased (Liam McBurney/PA)
Black Lives Matter protests
Artist Micky Doc puts the finishing touches to a mural of George Floyd at Belfast’s International Wall on the Falls Road in June. Mr Floyd was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis (Brian Lawless/PA)
James Nesbitt
Actor James Nesbitt carries his father’s casket in August (Liam McBurney/PA)
A-level results protest
Zara Meadows, an AS-level student from Belfast Royal Academy, poses during an August protest at the Northern Ireland Education Authority in Belfast, over Northern Ireland Minister of Education Peter Weir’s decision on A-level results (Liam McBurney/PA)
Woman and dog among sunflowers
Patrice Green, 25, from Belfast on an August bank holiday day trip with her King Charles dog Bear at the Sunflower Field Portglenone (Liam McBurney/PA)
Rescued curlew
A young curlew in flight after being released into the wild around Lough Neagh in September after being rescued from a peatland fire (Liam McBurney/PA)
The Duke of Cambridge and an Irish setter
The Duke of Cambridge meets five-month-old Irish setter Tara, who has been trained to provide comfort to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, during his visit to the PSNI Police College in Belfast in September (Tim Rooke/PA)
Man enjoys a pint
Phil Goldstraw enjoys a pint in the Hole in the Wall pub in Armagh as it reopened in September after Covid-19 restrictions (Peter Morrison/PA)
Belfast city centre
A deserted Belfast city centre midway through Northern Ireland’s circuit-break lockdown in December (David Young/PA)
Joanna Sloan
Nurse Joanna Sloan becomes the first person in Northern Ireland to receive the first of two Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine jabs, at the Royal Victoria Hospital, in Belfast on December 8 (Liam McBurney/PA)
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