BREAKING: Stormont to return as Sinn Féin agree to nominate Ministers

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald pictured recently with Michelle O'Neill. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald pictured recently with Michelle O'Neill. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Stormont is to be revived after Sinn Féin agreed to nominate Ministers to a New Executive this evening.

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald made the announcement this evening flanked by her party’s MLAs, several hours after the DUP also said it would re-enter Stormont on the basis of the new draft deal published by the British and Irish governments on Thursday night.

In a historic move coming three years and one day after it was collapsed by late Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

It is believed the agreement between the main two parties in the north will unlock a large tranche of funding from both governments to deliver on a range of pressing issues and infrastructural projects - many of them in the north west.

Mary Lou McDonald made mention of the Medical School for Magee as a central tenet of the new agreement, along with a range of others including legislation to protect and advance the rights of the Irish language speaking communities, legacy legislation and safeguards over the Petition of Concern.

“We now have a basis to restore power-sharing and we are up for that”, she said, while cautioning that there will be a lot of difficult work ahead.

“Three years ago Martin McGuinness set down a challenge to us: to get it right.... for every single citizen.

“Our job is to build, to be co-operative, to be collegiate.

“Relationships will have to be built and solidify and we will have to carry a very, very considerable load because the challenges at this time are absolutely immense.”