07/03/2018

Prospects to Restore Power-Sharing In NI Are Bleak - DUP

DUP MLA Simon Hamilton has said the prospects to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland are "bleak".

He made the statement during an appearance before the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

Mr Hamilton also hit out at Sinn Fein's behaviour including the "constant eulogising of terrorists".

He said: "After the breakdown of the latest talks, there have been selective leakings and briefings and it does not fill me with any confidence they are serious about restoring the institutions.

"There was an issue before the recent talks process of whether they were serious in getting devolution up and running again, their behaviour in recent days shows me they are not serious."

However, Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy said Mr Hamilton's comments show that the DUP have "checked out" of the power-sharing institutions.
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He said: "If these comments reflect the position of the DUP leadership, then clearly that party has checked out of the power-sharing institutions or any renewed effort to restore them.

"This follows their decision to renege on the draft agreement and to crash the talks process in the face of opposition from their own most right-wing, anti-agreement elements.

"But our public services and the rights of citizens cannot be held to ransom by the DUP's refusal to close on an agreement which they negotiated over 14 months.

"So in that context, there is a renewed onus on the two governments to urgently convene the British-Irish intergovernmental conference to implement previous agreements and pave the way for a restoration of the Executive by addressing the British government commitment to an Irish Language Act, the release of funds for legacy inquests, progressing the legacy mechanisms and safeguarding the rights of citizens including the right to marriage equality."

(CD)

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