Bookmark and Share

New Deadline Set To Restore Power-Sharing In NI

Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire has said political parties have until the end of October to reach an agreement to restore power-sharing in NI.

He said progress had been made between the DUP and Sinn Fein, however they have failed to reach an agreement on culture and language issues.

Mr Brokenshire said: "A breakthrough has not been reached. Whilst if I had given evidence to this committee last week, I might have indicated some momentum, some more positive progress, that momentum stalled at the end of last week.

"The prospects do not look positive at this time."

Meanwhile, Alliance Party Deputy Leader, Stephen Farry, has expressed frustration at a political standoff between the DUP and Sinn Féin, and called upon the Governments to urgently consider fresh approaches to finding agreement over the short window ahead, before Mr Brokenshire has to pass a budget for the region.

He said: "Notwithstanding stated progress on a range of other issues, it seems that at no stage over the past nine months have the DUP and Sinn Féin addressed the core issues of dispute between them.
News Image
"It beggars belief that the DUP and Sinn Féin are put this matter of Irish language and culture on such a pedestal that they have lost a sense of proportion and perspective on the wider need to provide good governance to Northern Ireland, to reform out public services, invest in our economy, and to have a proper Brexit plan.

"Alliance has a preferred way forward on these language and cultural issues. But the costs and implications of either having a standalone Irish Language Act or not having one are miniscule compared to what else is at stake

"Any return to Direct Rule would constitute a massive reversal in our political process. Given the nature of Northern Ireland, we need power-sharing and local accountability in our governance."

Ulster Unionist Party Leader Robin Swann MLA has said Mr Brokenshire has a responsibility to look at other options that would allow other parties to get on with the job if the DUP and Sinn Fein are unable to form an Executive.

He said: "It is a scandal that the country is still being held to ransom by ideological demands. The people of Northern Ireland deserve better. We are becoming tired of hearing hollow soundbites. The public need to know whether there really is prospect of an Executive being formed by the DUP and Sinn Fein or if hopes are falsely being raised.

"If the two big parties cannot get their act together then the Secretary of State has a responsibility to look at other options to allow other parties to get on with the job."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

17 November 2017
'No Hardening Of The Border In Ireland' - SDLP
The desperate attempts by the British Government to move on to Phase 2 of the Brexit negotiations without providing information on the Irish border issue must be rejected, according to the SDLP. Leader Colum Eastwood said negotiations can only be reached if there is "sufficient clarity" that there will be no hardening of the border in Ireland.
06 November 2017
Women In NI Can Access Free Abortions In Scotland
Women in Northern Ireland can now access free abortions through the NHS in Scotland. The regulations laid the the Scottish Parliament came into force today, 06 November.
14 March 2007
Paisley and Adams discuss deals
The DUP leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams have met with Prime Minister Tony Blair and Chancellor Gordon Brown in London today. The separate meetings follow the Northern Ireland Assembly elections last week that saw the DUP and Sinn Fein romp home as the two largest parties in the suspended NI Assembly.
13 November 2017
Northern Ireland's World Cup Dream Ends
Northern Ireland's dream of reaching the World Cup has come to an end. The team were playing against Switzerland on Sunday, 12 November, and the match ended with a 0-0 draw. Northern Ireland were defeated 1-0 on Thursday by Switzerland in Belfast, which means they failed to make it through to the World Cup.
10 November 2017
Northern Ireland 0 Switzerland 1
Northern Ireland have been defeated in their World Cup first leg play-off against Switzerland at Windsor Park. The team lost 1-0 and they have a lot of work to do to get one of the nine remaining places at next summer's finals in Russia.
06 November 2017
Other News In Brief
Man Convicted Of Benefit Fraud A man has been convicted for claiming benefits he was not entitled to at Newtownards Magistrates' Court. Darren Haigh claimed Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit totalling £18,412 while failing to declare employment. He was sentenced to 60 hours community service.
15 September 2004
Unionist parties engage in pre-talks 'concessions' spat
The two main unionist parties have become embroiled in a 'concessions' spat ahead of tomorrow's negotiations at Leeds Castle.
27 January 2006
Political parties to meet with US envoy
The US special envoy for Northern Ireland, Mitchell Reiss, is to today begin talks with political parties on possible ways to restore devolution.
28 November 2003
Final results in for 2003 NI Assembly election
UPDATE: With all counts declared on Friday evening the clear winners are the Rev Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party who have claimed 10 more seats on the Assembly and Sinn Féin who have won 6 seats.
25 May 2006
NI political parties invited to join 'devolution' committee
The Northern ireland Secretary of State, Peter Hain, has today invited the main political parties to sit on an Assembly Committee in a bid to restore devolution. It is understood that each of the main parties, the DUP, Sinn Fein, UUP and SDLP, will be given three places on the panel, with the Alliance party being given two.
16 November 2017
BT To Recruit Over 40 Apprentices And Graduates
Telecom giant BT Group is to recruit over 40 apprentices and graduates after announcing it is investing £20million in a major expansion of its broadband services in Northern Ireland. The investment will see a further 140,000 premises gain access to ultrafast broadband.
02 November 2017
PM And Taoiseach Discuss Political Crisis In NI
The Prime Minister Theresa May and Taoiseach Leo Varadakar believe there is still time for political parties to reach an agreement to restore a power-sharing Executive. The DUP and Sinn Fein failed to reach a deal during the talks, and NI Secretary of State James Brokenshire said he will set a budget after the November recess.
09 May 2016
Negotiations Over Programme For Govt To Begin
Negotiations over a programme for government are expected to begin at Stormont today, 09 May, following the election results. The two main parties, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin, have two weeks to reach an agreement. The smaller parties are to decide if they will form an opposition.
11 September 2015
First Minister Peter Robinson Steps Down
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson has announced he will "step aside" from his role and his colleague Arlene Foster will take over as temporary First Minister. The majority of his ministers have also resigned.
29 January 2013
DUP Call For Sinn Féin Grant To Be Withdrawn
State funds given to Sinn Fein for research and policy work at Westminster should be withdrawn, the DUP has said. Under a scheme designed for parties that do not sit in the chamber Sinn Féin receive an annual grant of £100,000.