'Little prospect' of Northern Irish power-sharing deal before deadline, says Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams said the current impasse between Sinn Féin and the DUP was unlikely to shift in time for Monday afternoon's new deadline
Stormont - credit: PA
Gerry Adams has warned there is ‘little prospect’ of a deal being reached between Northern Ireland’s main parties to form a new power-sharing executive by the current deadline.
The party’s president said the current impasse between Sinn Féin and the DUP was unlikely to shift in time for Monday afternoon's new deadline, despite the cut-off having initially been extended from Thursday last week.
Talks have largely been held up by issues surrounding an Irish language act, equality legislation and legacy issues and Adams said unless there was a “step change” from the unionist party, a deal would not be reached.
“I see at this point, little prospect of a deal before Monday. If they [DUP] are up for it, well that’s what we are in negotiations with them for,” he told RTÉ radio yesterday.
Adams said the DUP had shown "no urgency or no real inclination to deal with the rights-based issues which are at the crux and the heart of these difficulties which we are talking here about."
He suggested making a breakthrough in talks had been as challenging as at the early stages of the peace process, which subsequently led to the Good Friday Agreement.
“The character of these negotiations is unlike any other negotiations we’ve had with the DUP. We are back almost to David Trimble’s time when it was minimalist, it was slow and there was a lack of urgency,” he said.
Northern Ireland's executive has been out of action since January as a result of a renewable heating scandal, after ten years of power-sharing between the major parties.
Should a deal fail to be reached, the province's Secretary of State James Brokenshire could once again extend the time for talks, call an other Stormont election, or initiate a period of direct rule.
The DUP’s Simon Hamilton urged Sinn Féin to water down their demands however, accusing the republican party of pursuing a “10-0 win”.
"We want to see an executive and an assembly up and running again," the former Stormont minister told the BBC.
"At this minute in time, that requires Sinn Féin to change its attitude and its approach to these talks and not demand the sort of 10-0 win it's looking for.
"Instead, [it should] work with us together and build on the progress that we have been making over the talks to get a fair, a sensible and a balanced deal that can be supported by all sides of our community."
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