DUP states: “Stormont unlikely to return soon” – DUP

“I wonder why? Are the DUP and the Conservitive government in bed with each other??

There is a “lot of distrust” between the DUP and Sinn Féin, said Nigel Dodds
It is “highly unlikely” that power sharing will be restored soon in Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party’s Nigel Dodds has said.

A budget for the region must be set within two weeks to keep public services running, he added.

Northern Ireland’s devolved executive collapsed in January last year after a bitter row between the governing parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin.

The latest talks aimed at resolving the crisis ended in failure this month.

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Speaking on ITV’s Peston programme on Sunday, Mr Dodds said he “confidently” expected that UK government ministers would soon take decisions on public spending in Northern Ireland.

“It’s unfortunate the talks have come to an end – we now need decisions taken on spending and on budgets,” said Mr Dodds.

Nigel Dodds “Confidently” expects that UK ministers will soon take budget decisions for the North of Ireland.

“There needs to be a budget within the next fortnight and there need to be decisions taken in order to spend that money.

“The budget can be set at Westminster and clearly Parliament can authorise ministers to take whatever decisions are necessary for the good governance of the province.

“That’s clearly what should happen and I confidently expect that it will happen.”

This week, the Northern Ireland secretary committed to providing clarity on the budget for public services but declined to immediately impose direct rule from Westminster.

‘Bad blood’
The DUP and Sinn Féin blamed each other for the breakdown of the latest negotiations to end the deadlock, saying there was disagreement over legislation for the Irish language.

Sinn Féin has demanded agreement on an act that would give official status to the language, but the DUP has said it will not entertain such a measure.

Direct rule for the North of Ireland “isn’t acceptable” to Sinn Féin, said Michelle O’Neill

The parties still disagree on whether or not a draft agreement was on the table before the talks broke down.

It is “difficult to say” when talks to restore the Northern Ireland Executive could resume, added Mr Dodds.

“There’s a lot of distrust, there’s a lot of bad blood.

“We need a reaching-out process – we need Sinn Féin to get back to situation where they’re actually wanting to work with unionists.”

Sinn Féin’s vice-president Michelle O’Neill reiterated her party’s view that direct rule “isn’t acceptable”.

Speaking in Belfast on Sunday at a march for survivors and relatives of those killed by loyalists and the security forces, she said the DUP “walked out on the talks”.

“They’re not interested, it appears, to want to get the institutions up and running.”

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the origional story.

Michelle O’Neill says ‘legacy deal’ still stands – according to Sinn Féin – Who do you beleive??

Several thousand people gathered in Belfast to call for action on legacy issues.

Sinn Féin’s northern leader has said an agreement with the government to release money for Troubles-related inquests still stands.

Michelle O’Neill said the funding would be forthcoming despite the collapse of power-sharing talks earlier this month.

Ms O’Neill was speaking at a march for survivors and relatives of those killed by loyalists and the security forces.

Meanwhile, the victims’ commissioner said a political deal was desirable but not necessary for progress on legacy.

Since the latest round of talks collapsed, the two main parties – Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – have blamed each other for the breakdown, saying there was disagreement over legislation for the Irish language.

While not in the so-called draft agreement, Sinn Féin said they had a separate “commitment” from the government to put inquest funding and other measures to deal with the past out to public consultation.

Victims’ commissioner Judith Thompson said there was not a big gap between the parties on legacy issues.

The legacy inquests include some of the most controversial killings of the Troubles, and Northern Ireland’s most senior judge previously asked for money to deal with the backlog of outstanding cases.

The DUP has said it was not aware of the deal between Sinn Féin and the government in the absence of an overall agreement.

The government has said that all its discussions were in the context of how it would respond to an overall deal.

On Sunday, Ms O’Neill said: “I am crystal clear that we have an agreement with the British government that they would release both the legacy inquest funding and a consultation on the legacy mechanisms.

“That position still stands – I met with Theresa May last week and I put that to her that they need to not play fast and loose with victims.”

‘Million miles’
Ms O’Neill was among several thousand people to turn out for a rally in Belfast city centre on Sunday.

Victims’ campaigner Raymond McCord, who was at the rally, said the event was a step in the right direction but legacy issues should not be politicised.

“I want to see an even bigger event. I want to see Royal Avenue flooded with victims and the general public,” he said.

“And victims from unionist and nationalist communities standing with each other.

“Sinn Féin is heavily involved here and I want to see an event with no political parties whatsoever for all victims.”

The march – under the banner Time for Truth – took place in Belfast city centre

Victims’ Commissioner Judith Thompson said the parties were “not a million miles apart” on how to deal with the past but any consultation must not be marred by political fighting.

“There are people marching in Belfast for truth,” she said.

“People who have waited four decades for inquests and investigations, and the same people exist in every constituency.

“It’s really important we deal with this stuff and an argument between our parties about a political context, which is clearly very difficult right now, must not get in the way of things they are broadly in agreement with.”

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the origional story