Sinn Fein wants Stormont talks to resume next week

Michelle ONeill said talks should be focused and time-limited
Michelle ONeill said talks should be focused and time-limited

Sinn Fein has called for Stormont power-sharing talks to start in a week’s time.

In a letter to the Irish and UK governments and leaders of other political parties in Northern Ireland the party said negotiations should resume on Monday August 28.

Sinn Fein’s northern leader Michelle O’Neill MLA said that she did not believe there is a need or public appetite for drawn-out discussions.

“With limited engagement since the talks concluded on July 4, I am keen to formally re-engage at the earliest opportunity in order to re-establish an Executive and power-sharing institutions on a proper and sustainable footing,” she said in a statement issued by Sinn Fein.

“Moreover, I do not believe there is much public appetite, or need, for another drawn-out phase of talks.”

Ms O’Neill also said in the satement: “In this context, and with an eagerness to resolve outstanding issues, I am also formally proposing that this round of talks be focused and time-limited.”

Northern Ireland’s two biggest parties, the DUP and Sinn Fein, remain at loggerheads over a range of contentious issues.

Sticking points to a resumption of power-sharing at Stormont include the shape of legislation to protect Irish language speakers, the DUP’s opposition to lifting the Province’s ban on same-sex marriage, and mechanisms to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

Talks between the parties were postponed for the summer after they failed to reach agreement.

The political rift between the parties has left the Province without a first and deputy first minister since January and a functioning Executive since March. A number of talks deadlines have come and gone.