Crisis at Stormont: Public asking questions of unionist leadership - McGuinness

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Martin McGuinness has said the public has to ask why the DUP now want fresh talks after walking away from previous talks processes.

Mr McGuinness said; “We in Sinn Féin are open to discussion.

“We were involved in a genuine effort in the Haass O’Sullivan talks to get a resolution to several key issues.

“Unfortunately the unionists walked away, just as they walked away from the all party talks on parading, identity and the past.

“Now we have the people who repeatedly walked away from talks asking for new talks.

“The public has to ask what is that about? Is it about a renegotiation of the Good Friday Agreement or the St Andrew’s Agreement? Is it a unionist desire to return to majority rule or an effort to keep Sinn Féin out of decisions.

“The DUP want anti-agreement parties including the TUV, UKIP, PUP and elements of the Orange Order at their proposed new negotiations. People will question the reason for this and the prospect for agreement in any negotiation involving anti-agreement elements.

“Sinn Féin is for negotiations and dialogue and we have been absolutely clear that the British and Irish governments, as well as the US administration are involved.

“There are a number of issues that need to be resolved including the toxic issues which were addressed in the Haass O’Sullivan process.

“But it should be also remembered that in relation to welfare cuts our argument is with the British government, which doesn’t care for the most marginalised and disadvantaged in our society.”