Mary Lou McDonald: SF will enter NI talks 'optimistically' but onus on Govts to find solutions

Mary Lou McDonald today. Pic: Rollingnews.ie

Sinn Féin will be entering talks "positively and optimistically" but have firmly placed the onus back on the British and Irish Governments if solutions cannot be found.

Speaking after Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Northern Ireland secretary Karen Bradley announced a new round of talks between the political parties, Mary Lou McDonald said she hoped the negotiations will provide an opportunity to "get things right".

"We want this to work, we want the outstanding issues to be resolved, we want people living in the North irrespective of their colour, class, creed or their view on the Constitutional question, we want every single person to enjoy equality and a full vindication of their right," she said.

"I go into these talks and we will go into these talks positively and optimistically."

However, she remained firm that if the DUP, Sinn Féin and other parties cannot break the political impasse which has left Northern Ireland without an Assembly it will be up to Leo Varadkar and Theresa May to resolve.

"Whether or not there is the real will to resolve the issues, I think that will become apparent fairly quickly. I hope that everybody takes the same position as us and that they seize on the opportunity to resolve the issues and to ensure that equality is the order of the day

"This is a big chance for us, I want us to avail of this chance. If it is a thing that these matters can't be resolved through talks then clearly the intergovernmental conference and the two Governments will have to intervene. But let's take it a step at a time," said Ms McDonald.

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