Gerry Adams confident powersharing process can move forward

Gerry Adams has insisted that a deal can still be reached with the DUP to restore powersharing at Stormont.

He said that "some progress" was made with Arlene Foster's party before Sinn Fein decided to pull the plug on the latest phase of talks aimed at ending the political deadlock.

Mr Adams said there had been no point in continuing with the "ongoing verbal table tennis" with the DUP.

He said the process would be able to move forward with a British/Irish intergovernmental conference.

Mr Adams was speaking ahead of a meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Wednesday evening to discuss the political crisis in Northern Ireland.

On Monday - in the absence of a Stormont agreement - a budget was brought forward at Westminster for Northern Ireland, leaving the future of devolution in a new phase of uncertainty.

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire moved the bill in the House of Commons, telling MPs he was "reluctant" to do it but the region would soon run out of funds with the political impasse entering its 11th month.

Gerry Adams speaking to the media at Leinster House. Photo: Niall Carson /PA Wire

Mr Adams said Sinn Fein want the Stormont institutions back in place but it "has to be on the basis on which they were first established 20 years ago and under Martin McGuinness and Ian Paisley's leadership 10 years ago".

"The focus of the meeting (with the Taoiseach) is to ask (him) to be very firm with the British Prime Minister. She has a pact with the DUP", he said.

"The two governments under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement have the duty to convene the intergovernmental conference and we will be asking them to do that as a means of moving this process forward," the Sinn Fein leader added.

Mr Adams continued that while "some progress" was made during the recent talks process no agreement was reached on rights issues, such as a Bill of Rights, an Irish Lang Act, or marriage equality .

"These are very modest, standard rights in any society. The DUP are against rights. That is part of the conundrum. The issues aren't going away," he said.

Powersharing collapsed in January when then Deputy First Minister, the late Martin McGuinness, resigned in protest at how his counterparts in the DUP handled allegations of mismanaging a green energy scheme.

Since then, the DUP and Sinn Fein have engaged in multiple rounds of negotiations aimed at returning to government, all of which have failed to produce a deal.

The parties have said disagreements remain primarily around language and cultural issues, including whether to implement a standalone Irish language act.

Related Articles

Northern Ireland midfielder calls time on 14-year international career

Ulster Unionist councillor set to face motion of no confidence

Omagh bomb victim’s father urges political agreement at 20th anniversary service

Omagh bombing relatives remember loved ones on 20-year anniversary

More in this Section

Gardaí seize €70k of drugs and cash in Dublin raid

Pope's visit an opportunity for all to reflect on key questions facing Irish society: Bishop

'He was my dad and I love him very much,' son accused of murdering father told Gardaí

Judge grants bail for second 13-year-old boy charged with Ana Kriegel murder

More From The Irish Examiner