27/04/2018

Conservative Pact With DUP 'Greatest Obstacle' To Restoring NI Govt

The Conservative Party's pact with the DUP is the "greatest obstacle" to restoring the institutions in Norther Ireland, Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill has said.

The party's Vice President was commenting after a meeting with British Secretary of State Karen Bradley.

She said: "Sinn Féin wants the institutions back up and running on the basis of genuine power sharing.

"The best way to restore the institutions is to deal with the issues of language rights, marriage equality and legacy.

"But the Tory pact with the DUP is the greatest obstacle to this.

"The DUP have checked out of power sharing and the British government has failed to confront the DUP's anti-rights agenda in order to protect their own narrow interests."
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Ms O'Neill said that took the opportunity to remind Karen Bradley that the British government has a responsibility under the Good Friday Agreement to deal with the rights issues at the heart of the political impasse.

She continued: "Those issues will not go away, they need to be addressed.

"We also told the British Secretary of State that the continued refusal to release funding to the Lord Chief Justice for legacy issues and implement the legacy mechanisms at Stormont House is unacceptable. Victims have waited decades for truth and justice. That is wrong.

"We raised the issue of compensation for the victims of historical institutional abuse.

"We also raised our concerns that the Boundary Commission proposals are akin to a new gerrymander.

"The two governments need to act. They need to call the British Irish Intergovernmental conference to deal with outstanding issues and honour their agreements on equality.

"Direct Rule is not an option. The British government claims that its focus is getting the institutions back up and running. The time for stalling is over, they need to act."

(MH)

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