Stormont deadlock: Secretary of state to meet parties on Monday

Sep 05, 2017, 19:46
Stormont deadlock: Secretary of state to meet parties on Monday

James Brokenshire will meet the DUP, Sinn Féin, UUP, Alliance and SDLP.

However what we can not and will not do is simply agree to one-sided demands.

She welcomed Foster's offer of practical measures to support the Irish language, but said the DUP should go further and guarantee Irish language rights in legislation.

It follows Sinn Fein's rejection of a DUP proposal for an an immediate restoration of the assembly along with a parallel, time-limited process to deal with culture and language. That is not acceptable. Too much of the tale of our first century has been hallmarked by division.

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

"I want the story of Northern Ireland's next 100 years to be of a place and people that thrive within the United Kingdom".

"If we are to have an agreement then there will need to be a willingness on all sides to reach out in order to secure a durable outcome", she said.

Mrs Foster said: "As appealing as it first appears, that view fails to take account of our longer-term best interests".

"The DUP's refusal to afford Irish language speakers in the North rights which speakers of Welsh, Gaelic and Irish enjoy across these islands is shameful and speaks more of our divided past than of the shared future Sinn Féin wishes to see".

"Put ministers back into posts so that decisions can be made and that Northern Ireland can have a government again".

Earlier today, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said there will be no re-establishment of the Assembly without a stand-alone Irish Language Act.

This would undermine the concept of devolved government that is such an important principle of the Good Friday Agreement. "That's the crossroads that the leadership of Unionism is at".

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