Sinn Fein asks Irish premier for ‘sense of urgency’ in restoring NI Assembly

The leader and deputy leader of Sinn Fein are meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar “on the need for the institutions in the North to be restored without delay”.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald said there is now “absolutely no excuse” for a return to powersharing considering the Windsor Framework has been agreed by the European Commission and the UK Government.

“We’re ready to go,” she said.

Ms McDonald said the Irish Government needs to bring a sense of pace, urgency and purpose to getting the Assembly and Executive “back up and running”.

“This is a collective effort and success has always been when we’ve been working together,” she said.

Ms McDonald said Sinn Fein expects to have “common cause” with Mr Varadkar in making a return to powersharing happen “in time for the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement”.

Ms McDonald said while it is “reasonable” for the DUP to reflect on the Windsor Framework, she added what is “not reasonable is to delay”.

“We too need clarity and certain clarifications, but we are absolutely convinced we can all do that work whilst having the Assembly and the Executive running,” she said

Also attending the meeting, Sinn Fein leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill said there “shouldn’t be any more delays”.

“We need to be in the Executive today. The DUP walked away,” she said.