Hart bids to restart North talks

Former US Democrat presidential candidate Gary Hart will begin discussions next week with the Irish and British governments in what is being viewed as a bid to restart peace talks in the North.

The Irish Examiner has learnt that the former US senator has been asked by US Secretary of State John Kerry to take an informal role in the peace process.

Last New Year’s Eve, talks under Richard Haass broke down without agreement.

Government sources confirmed last night that the senator will meet with Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan next Wednesday.

A source said: “This will give the minister an opportunity to engage with him, giving him a sense of our concerns on the current situation in the North and an opportunity to register appreciation for continuing US interest.”

It was also confirmed last night that the North’s deputy first minister Martin McGuinness will meet Mr Hart on Thursday, with contentious issues regarding flags, parades, and outstanding issues for republicans expected to be discussed.

Mr Hart served as a US senator representing Colorado from 1975 to 1987. He sought the Democratic Party nomination for president in 1984 and again in 1988.

Political leaders at Stormont have failed to move forward since the Haass talks broke down.

During an acceptance speech for an international peace award in June, Dr Haass urged politicians in the North to show leadership and finish the job.


More in this Section

Warning as number of steroids seized surges 300%

ECB: Ireland’s Central Bank must enforce tracker mortgage redress

Ryanair pilots call off pre-Christmas strike

Man entered Cork Garda station with knives


Breaking Stories

Childline receives €100,000 donation from Ryanair

Pope's visit to Dublin expected to require €20m fundraising, according to Archbishop Martin

Gardaí renew appeal for information into violent sexual assault in Dublin last year

Inquest begins into death of Clodagh Hawe and family

Lifestyle

Review: N.E.R.D - No One Ever Really Dies: Their finest album to date

Everyone's mad at Google - Sundar Pichai has to fix it

Scenes from the analogue city - Memories of Limerick from the late 80s and early 90s

Ask Audrey: 'I heard that Viagra fumes from Pfizer’s were causing stiffys below in Ringaskiddy'

More From The Irish Examiner