Fresh crisis at Stormont as power sharing talks collapse

Sinn Féin has said it will not share power with the Democratic Unionists' (DUP) leader, Arlene Foster, as first minister until a public inquiry into the renewable heat incentive (RHI) is concluded.

Sinn Féin will not nominate its Northern Irish leader, Michelle O'Neill, as deputy first minister, meaning that no government can be formed under the rules laid down during the peace process.

"The DUP's approach thus far has been to engage in a minimalist way on all of the key issues, including legacy issues; an Irish Language Act; a Bill of Rights; and marriage equality".

Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill said on Sunday: "Today we have come to the end of the road".

Charlie Flanagan, the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, said "small core issues" had held up the talks and added: "It is the strong wish of the Irish government to see power-sharing re-established so that the interests of the people in Northern Ireland are best protected and advanced".

'The talks process has run its course and Sinn Fein will not be nominating for the position of speaker or for the executive office tomorrow'.

Former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness stepped down in protest after it emerged the botched green energy scheme could cost taxpayers nearly half a billion pounds sterling.

"The election result has transformed the political landscape", she argued.

Mr Adams said the DUP had to work in genuine partnership with nationalists and republicans.

DUP leader and former first minister Arlene Foster said: "While regrettable, the reality is that sufficient progress was not achieved in the time available to form a new executive".

'To date there was little to suggest that Sinn Fein want to secure agreement.

In a statement last night, she said: "At every opportunity they have resisted involving the other parties and consequently no round table discussions were possible during this round of discussions".

Sinn Fein has already said the three weeks of negotiations have run their course and they will not be nominating a deputy first minister in the devolved administration at Stormont.

The British government is eager to end the deadlock ahead of starting proceedings to leave the European Union, which Prime Minister Theresa May has scheduled for Wednesday with the triggering of Article 50 of the bloc's Lisbon Treaty.

Parties have until 4 p.m. Monday to form a power-sharing executive.

  • Leroy Wright