Sinn Fein: Government must ‘stop pandering to the DUP’

Sinn Fein leader Michelle O'Neill
Sinn Fein leader Michelle O'Neill

The British government must “stop pandering to the DUP” if there is any hope for the restoration of powersharing at Stormont, Sinn Fein has said.

Political parties are due to participate in a renewed talks process on Monday in a bid to resolve the Stormont crisis.

A deadline to form a powersharing executive was missed after Sinn Fein said it would not nominate a deputy first minister.

Michelle O’Neill, leader of the party in Northern Ireland, said at the time that the talks had come to the “end of the road”.

However, speaking ahead of a major Sinn Fein strategy conference in Dublin on Sunday, Ms O’Neill said the party “remain focused” on restoring the institutions.

“We will be at Stormont tomorrow again (Monday). Clearly we have a window of a number of weeks and it is time to see real delivery.

“We need the Irish government to step up to the plate and the British government to stop pandering to the DUP,” she said.

Ms O’Neill added: “We want to find a way through this.

“All the parties know what needs to happen. We remain focused to deal with all of that in the days ahead.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said her party “stands ready to continue to discuss how we can secure new arrangements for Northern Ireland”.

The two main stumbling blocks to the negotiations are legacy issues and Sinn Fein demands for an Irish Language Act.

The UK and Irish governments have said they want the renewed talks to have an agreed agenda and regular round-table meetings.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire has said he believes there is still a window of opportunity for parties to reach an agreement.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams claimed he would talk about his long-alleged involvement in the IRA if an independent truth commission was established.

He told Sky News he would address his role in the Northern Ireland Troubles “if there was a satisfactory arrangement put in place”.