James Brokenshire in Belfast in last ditch attempt to restore Stormont government


James Brokenshire in Belfast in last ditch attempt to restore Stormont government

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.

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire is to meet the five main political parties on Monday in a bid to end the Stormont deadlock.

The discussions come as proposals floated by the DUP leader Arlene Foster last Thursday were dismissed by Sinn Féin, who described her offer as one she knew would be refused.

"I think Arlene Foster has made a real effort this week to try and move things towards a position of more compromise [.] but we still have a lot of talking to do".

"I am proposing that we restore an Executive immediately", she said.

"It is the first time that I have ever heard a leader of the DUP commit to legislating for the Irish language".

"While the outcome of talks remains urgent, we are looking at a time frame of at least mid-October before parliament returns and has to make decisions on the best way forward for Northern Ireland, " he added.

In a statement, she said Foster's comments demonstrated that the DUP has not "listened or acknowledged the reasons for [Martin McGuinness'] resignation".

But she set out a series of demands for Sinn Fein to agree to return to government, including the full implementation of earlier agreements between the parties, improved rights for Irish language speakers and the legalization of gay marriage.

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

The political crisis in Northern Ireland looks set to continue as Sinn Fein have rejected the most recent offer from the DUP, created to return the parties to Stormont.



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