First woman MP Markievicz to be honoured in Parliament

Constance Markievicz died in 1927 aged 59, nine years after refusing to take her seat in Westminster.

One hundred years after winning a seat in the House of Commons, the first woman MP is finally to grace the corridors of Westminster.

It was a seat that Constance Markievicz never took – in line with Sinn Féin’s abstentionist policy.

Remarkably, she fought the 1918 election for the constituency of Dublin St Patrick’s from a cell in Holloway prison – and out of 18 women candidates, she was the only one to win a seat.

Her portrait, donated by the Irish parliament, is to be received later on Wednesday by Speaker John Bercow on behalf of the House of Commons.

Ready to die for Ireland
Born in 1868, Constance Gore-Booth was an Anglo-Irish aristocrat, but developed an allegiance to an Irish Republic.

WB Yeats immortalised Constance Gore-Both left, with her sister Eva, as “two girls in silk kimonos, both beautiful, one a gazelle”

She spent her childhood at Lissadell House in County Sligo, but was eager to travel and studied art in London and Paris.

It was at the Académie Julian in Paris that she met Casimir Markievicz; the pair married in London in 1900.

Commonly known as Count and Countess Markievicz, her family and some historians have raised questions about the provenance of the title.

Campaigned against Churchill
Constance Markievicz – or Madame de Markievicz, as she was known – was the first woman elected to the House of Commons, and she was the first woman elected to the First Dáil.

 

 

Constance Gore-Booth, pictured here as a debutante in 1884, soon became involved in the suffragist movement

Lauren Arrington, a senior lecturer at the Institute of Irish Studies at Liverpool University, said Markievicz was exposed to alternative political opinions while she was in the French capital.

“She was at the centre of an avant-garde culture in Paris and she encountered ideals that were sensible to her – that women should be equal to men,” said Ms Arrington.

Constance joined her sister, Eva, in Manchester in 1908: As key players in the Barmaids’ Political Defence League, they successfully campaigned against the re-election of Winston Churchill in the Manchester North West by-election.

Hearing executions from her cell
But while Markievicz was an anti-imperialist, the 1913 Dublin lockout was a pivotal moment for her.

“It’s the lockout and the formation of the Irish Citizen Army which brings her to republicanism,” said Ms Arrington.

Constance Markievicz was hailed as a hero when she returned to Dublin from prison in 1917

Constance Markievicz took part in the Easter Rising of 1916 and fought against British crown forces under socialist rebel Michael Mallin at St Stephen’s Green in Dublin.

 

The rising was unsuccessful and the ringleaders, including Markievicz, were sentenced to death.

At her court martial, Markievicz declared she was “ready to die for Ireland one way or another”.

However, Markievicz’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison because she was a woman.

This greatly frustrated her, according to Ms Arrington.

“It annoyed her as she felt that she shouldn’t get off purely because she was a woman, and she also felt some responsibility for the jailed rebels she knew from Na Fianna Éireann – a nationalist youth organisation Markievicz co-founded with Bulmer Hobson,” explained Ms Arrington.

“In the first few days after the Rising she was in prison in Kilmainham Gaol, and she could hear the other executions happening from her cell.

“That was torturous for her.”

Proud Irish patriot
Although Constance Markievicz was released from prison in 1917 under a general amnesty, she was detained again by 1918.

The British government feared a repeat of the 1916 Easter Rising and arrested most of the Sinn Féin leadership charging them with entering into treasonable communication with the German enemy.

“The charges were trumped-up”, explains Ms Arrington adding that “the government underestimated the extent to which the imprisonment would be a rallying-cry and actually increase Sinn Fein’s political power”.

Later that year, Prime Minister David Lloyd George called a general election immediately after Armistice Day.

Campaigning from a cell in London’s Holloway prison, Markievicz combined her suffragist ideals with her anti-imperialism.

“Her platform was for a republic in which men and woman would be equal, and Ireland would be free to pursue its own destiny,” said Lauren Arrington.

Rather than take her seat in the House of Commons, Madame de Markievicz – along with 72 other Sinn Féin MPs – refused to acknowledge the authority of the British government, and instead helped establish the First Dáil at Dublin’s Mansion House in January 1919.

Markievicz died in 1927 aged 59, in a public ward in Dublin’s Sir Patrick Dun’s hospital.

Her funeral was attended by the great and the good of Irish society, including Prime Minister Éamon de Valera.

Skip Twitter post by @RTEArchives

RTÉ Archives

@RTEArchives

Éamon de Valera leads mourners at the grave of Countess Constance Markievicz who died 1927

Aristocrat, abstentionist, anti-imperialist, suffragette, feminist, and Irish revolutionary, Constance Markievicz enters the House of Commons honoured for her role in Anglo-Irish history.

Her portrait will form part of the UK Parliament’s Voice and Vote exhibition until 6 October, when it will be transferred to nearby Portcullis House to go on public display.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story.

 

 

 

New Shame Féin Belfast Lord Mayor to consider attending Rememberance Sunday event

Dairdre Hargey said she was mayor for all – a traitor to the republican cause and should hang her head in shame

Sinn Fein’s new Belfast mayor has said she is willing to consider attending this year’s historic Remembrance Sunday commemoration in the city.

Deirdre Hargey said she wanted to be a mayor for all citizens and would reach out to the Royal British Legion and locally-based Somme Association to discuss ways to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Previous Belfast Sinn Fein mayors have laid laurel wreaths in July to commemorate the Battle of the Somme and at the short ceremony at 11am on November 11, the time of the Armistice in 1918.

But they have yet to attend the fuller Remembrance Sunday event, citing concerns over British military trappings.

Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald attended a Remembrance Sunday church service at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin last year.

Sorry, this content isn’t available on your device.

“I am mayor for all, that’s for the unionist community, the nationalist community, new communities that have set up home in Belfast, and I want to reflect that in my year in office,” said Ms Hargey.

“I think Belfast City Council have done good work around the Decade of Centenaries programme and I attended many events which wouldn’t have been from my own background per se.”

She added: “I do think it’s important that we use these events to reach out and to build cohesion within the community, that we learn from them.

“There are political narratives and different narratives on what happened in our past and I think that all of those narratives need to be respected.

“What I hope to do is use the learning of that past in building a cohesive and integrated and shared future in the time ahead.

“I will follow suit with other Sinn Fein mayors in the past in terms of the Somme commemoration in July and I would do the same process in terms of paying my respects to that.

“Other commemorations I want to look at – I will look at all of those in detail.

“I will want to pay my respects to all of those who lost their lives in the wars and indeed other conflicts and indeed the political conflict that happened here in Ireland.

“I will address all of those with sensitivity and also in a way of reaching out across the community and representing the community and I will look at those individual issues.

“I am also keen to engage with the likes of the Somme Association, the Royal British Legion, to see if there are events that we can do collectively, that recognises that we do have a political past with different narratives to that past but with a recognition that we need to move forward together and that’s what I aim to do.”

Asked would she consider attending Remembrance Sunday in November, she said: “I will consider all requests that come into the office, yes.”

Ms Hargey, 38, said she wanted to use her year in office to advance rights issues.

She said she hoped she could play a role in delivering abortion reform, same-sex marriage and protections for Irish language speakers.

“I would like to see my year as the mayor for Belfast to enhance those rights, campaign for those rights and be the mayor for equality and rights in Belfast,” she said.

The Sinn Fein councillor said she did not believe the promotion of issues that were the source of political contention in Northern Ireland undermined a commitment to be mayor for all.

“I am the first citizen for all in Belfast and I do think it’s important to reflect all views in the city,” she said.

“That said, I think issues around rights are non-negotiable and I do think as the first citizen I need to stand with those people who are demanding their basic human rights and as the first citizen I will certainly do that.

“There has been a sea change right across this island and people want a rights-based society, so I do hope over my year in office there will be advancement for Irish language rights, for marriage equality rights and for increased healthcare rights for women in terms of access in abortion.

“I do see there are fundamental human rights that as a society we have a duty to implement and push ahead on.

“I will stand with those citizens.”

With many thanks to: UTV Live for the origional story.

Irish Border Stance Is Driving Libreal And Hardline Unionists Together

 

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier at the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit in Dundalk

In the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum result, there was shock and dismay across Irish nationalism, which feared the return of a hard border and a more nationalistic UK moving further from the rest of Europe.

That feeling lingers, although it appears to have been somewhat lessened by the Irish Government’s robust stance in the Brexit negotiations, and the willingness of the EU to endorse that stance, putting the issue of the Irish border at or near the top of the talks process.

In the referendum, unionism voted largely to leave the EU, but there was sizable pro-remain unionist vote. But, just as there is a unity across nationalism to Brexit, so there is emerging a unified unionist front in opposition to the ‘backstop’ option which Mr Barnier articulated again yesterday.

That option – which only comes into play if the UK and the EU cannot agree on other solutions to avoiding a hard border, such as the use of technology or the entire UK remaining in a customs union – would involve regulatory alignment across the island of Ireland and customs checks between Northern Ireland and GB.

Last week DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds characterised such a stance as “almost the annexation of Northern Ireland”.

Although there are unionists who are fervently pro-EU, almost none of them have come out to support of the EU’s suggestion of an Irish Sea goods border.

Unionism increasingly united against EU stance

Yesterday the liberal UUP MLA Steve Aiken, who backed the remain side, used the same word as he denounced the EU’s stance.

Two months ago Lord Empey, one of David Trimble’s key negotiators during the talks which led to the Good Friday Agreement, wrote to Mr Barnier to express “deep concerns” about an EU approach which he said “undermines the Belfast Agreement and the constitutional integrity of Northern Ireland”.

In a pan-European negotiation about trade, security and constitutional principle, Northern Ireland is in some ways an insignificant area.

But with the Irish border an issue of emblematic significance to both sides, it has become critical to the talks.

Unionist unease will not stop Brussels endorsing the stance of one of its members, Ireland.

But the fierce unionist-nationalist split in Northern Ireland means that the EU stance is in effect almost indistinguishable with the stance of Irish nationalism – from the Irish Government to Sinn Féin and the SDLP.

That is undsurprising, given that Mr Barnier is representing Dublin, and the other EU members, in these talks.

But in adopting a stance which is that of one side of the political divide in Northern Ireland, it makes it more difficult for the EU to present its solution as a neutral attempt to save the Good Friday Agreement or even peace itself.

With many thanks to: E News for the origional story.

Unionists accuse SF of ‘hypocrisy’ following Syria bombing protest

Sinn Féin MEP’s Martina Anderson, Liadh Ní Riada and Lynn Boylan hold a protest in the European Parliament in Strassbourg.

A Sinn Fein protest over Theresa May’s decision to join air strikes in Syria has been branded “utter hypocrisy” by unionists.

Martina Anderson MEP, a convicted IRA bomber, staged a protest in the European Parliament over the recent bombing of Syria.

Ms Anderson, along with fellow Sinn Fein MEPs Liadh Ní Riada and Lynn Boylan, held up signs calling for an end to the bombing and an end to the war in Syria.

“What we need to see is a humanitarian response to the ongoing crisis in Syria, not a military response which will only add to the pain and suffering,” she added.

The UK, US and France launched joint strikes on three Syrian government sites near Damascus and Homs on Saturday. The western allies said they were targeting chemical weapons facilities.

But UUP MLA Doug Beattie said, given her “unashamed IRA past”, Ms Anderson’s words “ring hollow”.

DUP MP Gregory Campbell also labelled the SF MEP’s remarks as “double standards and utter hypocrisy”.

As a member of the Provisional IRA, Ms Anderson was convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions. She was in jail for 13 years before she was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Since then, she has played a leading role in Sinn Fein and took over as MEP from Bairbre de Brun in 2012.

Ulster Unionist MLA Mr Beattie told the News Letter: “Every time one of these former terrorists from Sinn Fein say how terrible bombings are I cannot help but roll my eyes at the hypocrisy.

“Until Sinn Fein is willing to condemn and apologise for its campaign of bombings and violence, then these sorts of remarks ring hollow.

“While I can find some common ground with those people who have reservations about the military action in Syria, I can find no common ground with a one-time bomber like Martina Anderson, who remains brazen and unashamed of her actions as a member of the IRA.”

East Londonderry MP Mr Campbell added: “Martina Anderson takes hypocrisy to a new level. In fact she recently retweeted a comment which said ‘military violence does not solve problems’. That is the ultimate irony coming from someone like her, who is unrepentant of her terrorist past.”

Responding to Mr Beattie and Mr Campbell’s comments, a Sinn Fein spokesperson told the News Letter: “Sinn Féin will take no lectures from political unionism which has been a cheerleader for British imperialist wars of aggression which have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, men, women and children in the last two decades alone.”

Mr Beattie, who served with the Royal Irish Regiment in war zones including Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan, said the prime minister had “every right” to join military action in Syria.

Speaking about Mrs May’s decision to carry out joint air strikes without consulting parliament, Mr Beattie added: “She may have been acting on intelligence which meant she had to act swiftly.”

With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegrpagh for the origional story

Boundary changes would deny nationalist voters representation

MAJOR changes to proposed electoral constituencies will leave thousands of nationalists without representation, Sinn Féin has claimed.

The latest version of the proposal looks, unsurprisingly, a lot like the changes the DUP wanted.

MICHELLE O’NEILL – Sinn Féin’s leader in the North of Ireland: FIFTY years on from ‘One Man-One Vote’ the nationalist community again faces an appailling denial of equal representation under proposals to redraw electoral boundaries.

A map issued by the Boundary Commission setting out how its revised proposals differ from existing constituencues.

The new boundaries will disfigure and distort the electoral map. Represtation will be denied to thousands of nationalist voters and leave several constituencies without any nationalist representative at an assembly level. The proposals have emanated from a Boundary Commission review established in 2016 to reduce the number of constituencies from 18 to 17 in a fair and equitable way.

The commission initially produced a plan which achieved these objectives, but they were heavily criticised by the DUP because it stood to lose out electorally. The DUP submitted how it would like the new boundary map to look. This DUP proposal sought to maximise the number of DUP elected representatives and minimise the number of nationalists by manipulating (gerrymandering) electoral boundaries.

Then the DUP entered a pact to keep Theresa May’s government in power. Just six months after that deal was signed, the Boundary Commission produced new proposals. Sinn Féin warned the DUP would attempt to insert this issue into their negotiations with the Tories. It came as little surprise – the new proposals were virtually indistinguishable from the DUP’s. The Boundary Commission denies any deliberate gerrymander at the behest of the DUP and stress their independence.

Nevertheless, they do admit to radically altering their plan, as well as applying the controversial Rule 7. This rule is only available in the North of Ireland and gives the commission scope to go beyond the usual electorate quotas in any constituency. The Boundary Commission origionally ruled out its use, but changed this approach after the DUP argued for its implementation. The commission’s revised report overturned every key decision which underpinned their origional proposals, with-out offering any reasonable explaination why.

These changes are unjustifiable and must be overturned. Votes should be equal. Political representation should reflect the population in any given constituency. Instead these proposals effectively deny representation to thousands of nationalist voters. The use of Rule 7, the ‘gerrymander rule’, has allowed this to happen.

When the northern state was created, it was deliberately gerrymandered to try and guarantee a perpetual unionist majority. The last assembly election finally ended unionism’s majority status for the first time since 1921. Demographic changes also indicate a nationalist voting majority by 2022, the year these boundary changes take effect.

It seems the DUP would prefer to re-gerrymander constituencies to hold onto unionist control as long as they can. That is what their submission sought to achieve. The Boundary Commission’s revised proposals effectively produce the same result. It is not too late to change this. The commission is consulting on the revised proposals until March 26th.

Sinn Féin is urging people to register their objections to a plan which will have such an anti-democratic impact. Do so by logging onto http://www.bcni2018.uk or emailing,: review@boundarycommission.org.uk.

My party has also made a detailed submission setting out a number of proposals which represent a fair and equitable approach to boundary reform. If, as the commission stresses, they have not been unduly influenced by any malign intention from the DUP, then we expect our proposals to be reflected in their final revised boundaries.

With many thanks to: The Irish News and Michelle O’Neill Sinn Féin’s leader in the north. For the original story. 

THE CATHOLIC/NATIONALIST/REPUBLICAN COMMUNITY NEED OUR VOICES TO BE HEARD – IT’S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT VOTES FOR THE NATIONALIST COMMUNITY SINCE 1921. WE ONLY HAVE UNTIL MARCH 26th TO REGISTER YOUR OBJECTIONS: 

FROM THE REDDIT APP

Sinn Féin claims boundary changes would leave thousands of nationalists without representation

A map issued by the Boundary Commission setting out how its revised proposals differ from existing constituencies.

daithidb65 • Mar 13, 2018, 1:48 PMGerrymandering alive and well

windyfish • Mar 13, 2018, 6:54 AM
Gets in there before someone makes the « just like their Westminster MPs » comment

Iownthat • Mar 13, 2018, 8:12 AM
Them not going to London represents my disdain for the the union. They are representing me.

TFFTN • Mar 13, 2018, 7:14 AM
Now thousands of SF voters will be denied the chance to see their representatives continue to sit and do nothing!

VigiIance • Mar 13, 2018, 6:59 AM
Was thinking exactly that.

Sinn Fein have no right to complain about no representation when they don’t even take their seats lol.

I don’t see any seat changes from the last Westminster election arising from these boundary changes, Stormont is a bit harder to predict.

Edit – actually there will be a consolidation of Silvia Herman’s seat, if it doesn’t swing DUP it will be a 1 seat loss for the DUP at Westminster.

aodhmacsuibhne • Mar 13, 2018, 8:02 AM
Sinn Fein have no right to complain about no representation when they don’t even take their seats lol.

This is bullshit and you must know it, you can’t honestly believe that surely to god. Just because you don’t like the form of representation someone votes for doesn’t mean a free pass to deprive them of it.

Squattle69 • Mar 13, 2018, 8:07 AM
Hermons not gonna have that seat for much longer.

Bloodshart-Hero • Mar 13, 2018, 7:43 AM
Thank God they’re finally saying something about this. The blatantly gerrymandered borders proposed by the DUP and adopted pell-mell by the Border’s Commission harkened back to the days of Unionist government oppression that I thought were long behind us.

Here’s a cool Belfast wallpaper for your smartphone if anyone is interested.

Ship looks like it’s airborne from Crawfordsburn this morning

Fucking hell, what a shite day!

With many thanks to: https://www.reddit.com/?utm_source=amp&utm_medium=top_nav 

THE REDDIT APP.

Follow this link to find out the complete breakdown of how the Boundarie changes effects the nationalist communities in the north: https://bangordub.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/faha-why-the-boundary-review-needs-to-be-challenged/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former UUP chairman and chairman of LCC David Campbell resigns from party

Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) was launched on 13th October 2015. With the full backing of the UDA, UVF and Red Hand Commando and was also the group which give it’s full backing to the ten recently elected Unionist DUP Westminster MP’s

David Campbell Chairman of LCC (Loyalist Communities Council).

A former chairman of the Ulster Unionist Party has resigned from the party and accused it of “political mismanagement and amateurism”.

David Campbell had been a party member for 35 years, and served as former leader David Trimble’s chief of staff.

Mr Campbell is also chairman of the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC).

At the launch of the LCC (Loyalist Communities Council) pictured here with three Commanders of the UDA.

The organisation became part of a major controversy during the last election after it endorsed some unionist candidates.

The flag of the LCC (Loyalist Communities Council) but as you can see by by the flag, there’s not much on it to do with the Nationalist community.

The endorsement was rejected by both Robin Swann, the current UUP leader, and his predecessor Mike Nesbitt.

Mr Campbell issued a hard-hitting statement, carried in Friday’s News Letter.

‘Electoral dynamic has changed’

Mr David Campbell Chairman of the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC) who backed all ten DUP Westminster MP’s who are now endorsing the Tory/DUP next Westminister government.

Speaking to the BBC’s Talkback programme, he said the final straws for him were the UUP’s reaction to the LCC’s endorsement of unionist candidates and the “failure to consider a proper electoral pact with the DUP”.

The writing on the walls in the Loyalist Communities it speaks for itself really.

“My personal view is that the party has gone past a tipping point, we did have a period before where we had no MPs before, but we had a strong assembly party,” he said.

“I think the electoral dynamic in Northern Ireland has changed irrevocably following the Sinn Féin success in the pre-emptive assembly election.

“That is pointing to two largely hegemonic parties in respect to nationalist and unionist communities and it is the prime reason that voters flocked to the DUP in this [general] election.”

‘Traditional conservative’

Leading members and Commanding officers of the UDA, at the launch of the LCC back in Oct 2015.

Mr Campbell said there had been a drift away from traditional Ulster Unionist values, with former leader Mike Nesbitt and others declaring themselves liberal unionists.

“The typical Ulster Unionist voter is a church-goer who would be largely traditional conservative in their outlook and they were being presented with, in some cases, candidates espousing a very different view on serious moral issues,” he said.

“The comfort I take in the electoral decline of the Ulster Unionist Party is that the DUP has moved largely exclusively onto Ulster Unionist policy through their acceptance of the agreement and the subsequent power-sharing arrangements and the drift of Ulster Unionism into the DUP.

“I think in the eyes of the average unionist elector the DUP is largely what the Ulster Unionist Party once was.”

When asked if he thought the DUP was now the only viable party of unionism he said: “Undoubtedly, and that’s clearly [a view] shared by the electorate.”

Ulster Unionist councillor David Browne said he did not agree that the party was finished.

“I do believe that the party has changed drastically from the party I joined around 35 years ago and I do agree with some of the comments he made around the previous leadership,” he said.

“Robin Swann is only in the job and in fairness to him I though he’s done a reasonably good job.”

 

Follow these links to find out more about the Loyalist Communities Council (LCC): http://m.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/loyalist-communities-council-launched-with-backing-of-uda-uvf-and-red-hand-commando-31606726.html

The Homepage of LCC: http://www.lcc-ni.com/

The Statement released to the Loyalist Communities by the LCC: http://www.dalaradia.co.uk/?p=701

With many thanks to the: BBC NI for the original story.From the se

Gerry Adam’s claims Stormont’s return key to a United Ireland ?

But real republicans know Sinn Féin signed away our rights to a United Ireland in 1998.

I think ‘ Our Gerry’ should take those blinkers off. Is he having a laugh?

Gerry Adams has dismissed speculation that Sinn Fein had lost interest in Stormont as his newly-elected MPs headed to London.

The Sinn Fein president argued that devolution provided “a strategic route” towards a united Ireland.

26+6=1 – United Ireland.

On the first day of a two-day visit, the seven republican MPs had a series of meetings, but continued the tradition of staying away from the House of Commons chamber.

There was speculation the group might meet Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, although there was no confirmation yesterday.

With the MPs in the UK capital, Mr Adams was in Dublin, where he urged incoming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to get more directly involved in the negotiations aimed at restoring devolution.

Mr Adams also firmly denied that his party’s focus had shifted as a result of the Brexit vote.

What has Stormont got to do with a United Ireland Gerry?

Gerry Adams (TD) President of Sinn Féin

“The focus has to be on plan A, which is to get the institutions in place, that is our focus and we would like to think it will be the focus of the incoming Taoiseach,” he said.

“We want into the institutions, because that is what the people desire, that is what the people voted for.

“But also because we think, strategically, that is the way to a united Ireland.

“The way forward is not to be in a vacuum, to have stagnation, the way forward is to have that forum working on the basis on which it should have been established.”

Meanwhile, the smaller parties have complained that the Stormont talks to restore devolution are failing to gain momentum. The first round-table session involving all five parties and the British and Irish Governments is not expected until tomorrow.

The lie’s sorry “untruths” being peddled by the BBC. If you really believe their ‘false news’ then you need to open your eyes to the truth.

That leaves just a fortnight until Secretary of State James Brokenshire’s “immovable” deadline of June 29, after which a decision must be taken on the return of direct rule.

This wite-up appeared in the Irish News today. From a Unionist point of view. Written by Newton Emerson.

Inter-party meetings, mostly involving officials, continued yesterday but the focus of interest had shifted to the talks in London between the Conservatives and the DUP.

Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan is also expected to be absent today because of events surrounding the incoming Taoiseach in Dublin.

Back in Belfast, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said there was “deep suspicion and concern that a public deal between Theresa May and Arlene Foster might be accompanied with a private, grubby back room deal which none of us will get sight of for years to come”.

“It is in the interests of all our people that we are given full transparency. It is also the only way to address the public’s suspicion and concern,” he insisted.

Alliance deputy leader Stephen Farry said the lack of an all-party round-table until Thursday at the earliest “doesn’t inspire confidence”.

Most of the parties have met Mr Flanagan and Mr Brokenshire since Monday, but Mr Farry said: “There remains no impetus. We need people to step up to the plate, and do so without delay.

James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (North of Ireland). Sinn Féin asking: “how can he be independent to chair talks in restoring Stormont.

“The consequences of not doing so are too severe.”

Meanwhile, UUP leader Robin Swann said seeking an independent chairperson for the talks was “futile”.

Nationalists have complained that Mr Brokenshire cannot be an “honest broker” because his party is seeking a deal with the DUP at Westminster.

Mr Swann said: “We have a few short weeks to restore devolution. Let’s not waste any more time dancing around on the head of a pin.”

With many thanks to: BBC for the original story.