Sinn Fein’s leader in Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill, has swiftly rejected an overture from Arlene Foster.
Michelle O’Neill said that Mrs Foster had “not listened to or acknowledged” the reasons why the late deputy fist minister Martin McGuinness had resigned.
Hours earler, Mrs Foster, the DUP leader, had appeared to offer an olive branch to Sinn Fein, setting out a proposal to restore Stormont first and then legislate for the Irish language within a set period (see link below).
But Ms O’Neill said: “Sinn Féin is entirely committed to making the political institutions work for all citizens.
“For over ten years Martin McGuinness maintained the executive while seeking to have the outstanding commitments of the agreements implemented with respect and equality for all.
“Over this period the DUP and the British government refused to honour the agreements and operate powersharing on the basis of equality. On that basis Martin McGuiness resigned.
“The statement by the DUP leader demonstrates that they have not listened or acknowledged the reasons of Martin’s resignation.
“Establishing an executive that may collapse after a matter of months on the same issues will only fail all our people.
“Let’s agree to quickly conclude talks on implementation and rights, that is the only way to build a sustainable executive that will last.”