Northern Political Institution...

News

Northern Political Institutions Could Be Back Before Christmas - McDonald

Newsroom
Newsroom

10:39 AM - 8 Dec 2019



The leader of Sinn Féin says a deal to re-establish Northern Ireland's political institutions is possible.

Mary Lou McDonald believes the Stormont executive and assembly can be up and running by Christmas time or early in the new year.

There has been no executive at Stormont since it collapsed amid the 'Cash for Ash' scandal in 2017.

The scandal revolved around the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI), which was designed to encourage businesses to replace older heating sources with eco-friendly alternatives.

Problems with the scheme - introduced under the watch of DUP leader Arlene Foster while she was enterprise minister - meant that subsidies exceeded the cost price of the fuel, effectively encouraging users to burn extra fuel in order to claim money.

Mrs. Foster refused to stand down while an inquiry was carried out into the scandal - leading to the then Sinn Féin leader in the North, Martin McGuinness, resigning his position.

Assembly elections were held in March 2017, but efforts to form a new executive have repeatedly stalled.

The region

Assembly elections were held in March 2017, but efforts to form a new executive have repeatedly stalled.

The region marked a milestone of 1,000 days without a working devolved government in October.

As a result of no sitting executive, London has brought in legislation to bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK around the issues of same-sex marriage and abortion services.

On re-establishing the institutions, Ms. McDonald said: "On the 16th December, talks to re-establish the North's political institutions resume and these talks must conclude by the 13th January at the latest.

"Sinn Féin has made preparations, we have been in direct contact with both governments and our negotiators stand ready to engage in these talks. It is our view that a deal is possible and that a deal has always been possible.

"Almost three years on, the suspension of the institutions is unacceptable and unsustainable. It is our view that the Executive and Assembly can be up and running by Christmas time or early in the new year.

"The outstanding rights issues, legacy issues, and reform of the Petition of Concern have long been discussed and must now be concluded.

"Political Unionism, the DUP and the British government must finally step forward.

"Sinn Féin has never been the obstacle to reaching a deal and both governments know that."

She added: "I believe these talks can be successful; the issues we face are not new and the heavy lifting has already been done.

without a working devolved government in October.

As a result of no sitting executive, London has brought in legislation to bring Northern Ireland in line with the rest of the UK around the issues of same-sex marriage and abortion services.

On re-establishing the institutions, Ms McDonald said: "On the 16th December, talks to re-establish the North's political institutions resume and these talks must conclude by the 13th January at the latest.

"Sinn Féin has made preparations, we have been in direct contact with both governments and our negotiators stand ready to engage in these talks. It is our view that a deal is possible and that a deal has always been possible.

"Almost three years on, the suspension of the institutions is unacceptable and unsustainable. It is our view that the Executive and Assembly can be up and running by Christmas time or early in the new year.

"The outstanding rights issues, legacy issues, and reform of the Petition of Concern have long been discussed and must now be concluded.

"Political Unionism, the DUP and the British government must finally step forward.

"Sinn Féin has never been the obstacle to reaching a deal and both governments know that."

She added: "I believe these talks can be successful; the issues we face are not new and the heavy lifting has already been done.



Read more about

DUP Mary Lou McDonald Northern Assembly Northern Ireland

You might like

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Dermot & Dave

Dermot & Dave

9 AM-12 PM

Share

Up next

Mairead Ronan

Mairead Ronan

12 PM-2 PM

Share

Fergal D'Arcy

Fergal D'Arcy

2 PM-4:30 PM

Share

The Last Word with Matt Cooper

The Last Word with Matt Cooper

4:30 PM-7 PM

Share

Ed's National Anthems

Ed's National Anthems

7 PM-10 PM

Share

The Paul McLoone Show

The Paul McLoone Show

10 PM-12 AM

Share

Overnight

Overnight

12 AM-5 AM

Share

Early Breakfast with Paula Mac...

Early Breakfast with Paula MacSweeney

5 AM-7 AM

Share

The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show

The Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show

7 AM-9 AM

Share

Dermot & Dave

Dermot & Dave

9 AM-12 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on