Last-ditch effort to restore Stormont Executive in Northern Ireland

Jon Howard
September 5, 2017

Irish republican party Sinn Fein on Friday rejected a call from rival Democratic Unionist Party to resume power-sharing in Northern Ireland's devolved government, saying there was nothing new in the DUP's latest offer to break a seven-month impasse.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire is due to have discussions with Northern Ireland's five main parties in Stormont today.

"Unless agreement can be found very quickly then London will be required to take decisions", Foster said in a speech to supporters in a Belfast hotel on Thursday evening. "Whether that be marriage rights, language rights, economic rights or cultural rights", she said.

Foster said that a series of "one-sided demands" by Sinn Fein had made progress impossible and that they must move to achieve a breakthrough.

"We do not believe that there is a need to prolong these sets of talks", said Ms Foster.

Talks have been led by the British and Irish governments but with no breakthrough some prominent DUP MPs are warning a return to direct rule from Westminster could be looming. Certainly from our part we do.

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Sinn Féin Irish Language spokesperson Councillor Kevin Campbell has accused DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson of "scraping the bottom of the barrel" in his opposition to an Irish Language Act.

"We have no red lines - we have no barriers". "It's the first time I have heard a leader of..."

She said, "We want to make the institutions work".

"We are not the barrier here to devolution in Northern Ireland".

"The issue of a parallel process has been discussed and rejected throughout the course of all the negotiations we have had to date", Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein's leader in Northern Ireland, said in a statement.

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