Negotiations to salvage power sharing in Northern Ireland are set to continue
Talks extended late last night at Stormont Castle in Belfast, as they did on Monday, but there was little sign of a breakthrough that would lead to the restoration of a devolved executive.
The republican party has accused the DUP of refusing to budge on any of the substantive issues at the heart of the crisis.
For its part, the DUP urged Sinn Féin to stop indulging in “high-wire acts” and get down to the job of delivering for the people of Northern Ireland.
Sinn Féin party chairman Declan Kearney did hint movement was possible on one precondition – its opposition to DUP leader Arlene Foster returning as Stormont first minister – if the DUP gave ground on other matters.
DUP negotiator Edwin Poots suggested a “parallel process” could be initiated where a coalition executive is formed while talks on the outstanding issues continued.
The parties have until 4pm on Thursday to restore a devolved executive
The DUP have not moved on any of the substantive issue which sit at the heart of this crisis
Logjams include Sinn Fein’s demand for legislative protections for Irish language speakers and the question of whether Mrs Foster can return to the first minister’s office while a public inquiry into a botched green energy scheme is ongoing.
The parties have until 4pm on Thursday to restore a devolved executive or Northern Ireland faces the prospect of a return of direct rule from London.
Mr Kearney claimed the DUP was not prepared to move on republican demands for a stand-alone Irish Language Act, the introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland and the introduction of a specific bill of rights for the region.
“The DUP have not moved on any of the substantive issue which sit at the heart of this crisis,” he said.
“They haven’t moved on any of the…