There were further signs of division in the North's government today when unionists and republicans clashed over plans for creating a Stormont justice minister.
An Assembly Committee considering draft proposals from First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness became deadlocked after their parties offered conflicting interpretations of the blueprint.
The committee adjourned its discussions but the nationalist SDLP said the public dispute exposed continuing divisions between Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
The Assembly and Executive Review Committee was examining proposals for establishing a ministry in the event of the two main parties agreeing to the devolution of policing and justice powers from Westminster to Stormont.
The row comes as the DUP and Sinn Féin are involved in talks aimed at settling the dispute over the issue that has prevented meetings of the Northern Ireland Executive for four months.