22/09/2003

Murphy holds talks with political parties

Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Paul Murphy has held a series of political meetings with a number of political parties to discuss the ongoing peace process.

Representatives from Sinn Fein, SDLP and UKUP met Mr Murphy at Hillsborough as efforts continue to re-establish devolved government in Northern Ireland.

Speaking following today's meeting, Sinn Fein representative Alex Maskey said "a long number of outstanding matters" needed resolving before the current impasse could be overcome.

“Sinn Féin have for some time been involved in a series of discussions with the two governments aimed at resolving the current impasse in the peace process. This impasse has been caused by the suspension of the political institutions and the cancellation of the elections to the Assembly.

“Much of the focus has clearly been on getting the British government to announce a definite date for the elections to be held. But elections are only a part of what is required. There are a range of issues which need to be addressed and resolved. These include policing, human rights, justice and demilitarisation.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams today hit-out at press speculation over possible IRA "gestures or breakthroughs" following a recent meeting with Ulster Unionist leader, David Trimble.

"I am very mindful that discussions between us, the two government's and the UUP are ongoing and sensitive," he said.

"However, the reality is that all of the participants in these discussions, including republicans, have crucial contributions to make to any resolution."

Northern Ireland's devolved administration was suspended in October 2002 amid allegations of IRA intelligence gathering at Stormont.

(MB)

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

01 November 2017
Secretary Of State To Make Statement About Ongoing Political Crisis
Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire is to make a statement today, 01 November, about the ongoing political crisis in Northern Ireland. The DUP and Sinn Fein have failed to reach an agreement to restore a power-sharing Executive.
16 February 2018
Draft Deal Agreed Before Talks Collapsed - Sinn Fein
Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald said a draft agreement was made last week to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland. She confirmed that the DUP and Sinn Féin leaderships had achieved an accommodation across the issues involved.
15 February 2018
Sinn Fein To Meet With Irish And UK Governments After Talks Fail
Sinn Fein is to meet with both the Irish and UK governments today, 15 February, after DUP leader Arlene Foster confirmed talks to restore power-sharing in NI had failed. Northern Ireland has been without an Executive since January 2017. Mr Foster said there was "no current prospect" of a deal.
12 February 2018
Sinn Fein Elects New Leaders
Sinn Fein has elected a new leader. Mary Lou McDonald will take over from Gerry Adams as President of the party and Michelle O'Neill will take up the deputy role. She was officially ratified at a special party conference at the RDS in Dublin on Saturday, 10 February.
15 January 2018
Sinn Fein West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff Resigns
Sinn Fein's Barry McElduff has announced his resignation as West Tyrone MP. Mr McElduff has been at the centre of controversy after a video was posted online on the anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre.