It’s done. And in double-quick time. Arlene Foster has resigned as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and First Minister of Northern Ireland. 

It happened so fast that the runners and riders in the race to replace her haven’t even had time to saddle up their mounts.

Foster’s departure was, however, a story that was waiting to be written. The DUP is in crisis because the province is in crisis, not only in terms of everyday life, but with the growing realisation that, as effectively an economic annex of the EU, its ties with the rest of the UK are growing palpably looser.