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.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Inquiry to examine Michael Noonan's role in Grace scandal

State rents office for €8.2m a year... but it lies idle

Leo Varadkar denies doing deal with Simon Coveney on Fine Gael leadership race

Number of engineering degrees may be reduced


Breaking Stories

Gardaí 'concerned' for teenager missing from his home in Dublin

Govt pledges another €3m for Syrian refugees

Gardaí seize loaded gun and drugs at industrial park in Dublin

Reports to detail shocking abuse suffered by Grace, intellectually disabled woman, at foster home

Lifestyle

Exploring Ethiopia: Novelties abound in the cradle of mankind on horn of Africa

Sky Matters: Sirius will be visible in the middle of March

How designing spoke guards for her sister's wheelchair became a business for Ailbhe Keane

Restore colour to your home by taking inspiration from nature

More From The Irish Examiner