DUP and governments need to match Sinn Féin commitment to power-sharing: O’Neill

Michelle O'Neill.
Michelle O'Neill.

The Sinn Féin leader in the North, Michelle O’Neill, has accused the DUP and the Irish and British governments of being less committed than republicans to the creation of a “rights-based power-sharing executive” in Belfast.

Speaking in Dublin on Saturday Ms. O’Neill said Sinn Féin was keen to see the institutions restored.

But she suggested the other parties to the negotiations were shirking their responsibilities.

“The key to restoring the power-sharing executive rests at the feet of the DUP and both Governments,” said Ms. O’Neill.

“Sinn Féin remain fully committed to making the negotiations work, and in getting the executive back up and running and delivering for all in society.

“The same approach is needed by the other parties and both Governments,” she added.

The senior Sinn Féin leader repeated her party’s insistence that any new executive would have to be rights-based, would have to deliver for all citizens, and would have to implement all outstanding agreements.

Meanwhile, speaking following the July 12 celebrations on Wednesday, Ms. O’Neill said that while progress has been made on parades, the bonfire issue has yet to be addressed adequately.

“With the week that has been in it, I welcome that the marching season and the 12th of July has passed relatively peacefully.

“However, sectarian and racist displays at bonfires and the failure of Unionist leaders to challenge this demonstrates the distance yet to be travelled.

“If talks are to be constructive, there needs to be a break from the failures of the past. There can be no return to the status quo that failed so many sections of the community.

“Sinn Féin remain fully committed to restoring the power-sharing institutions, to forming an executive with all parties as agreed in the Good Friday Agreement.”