Sinn Féin rejects DUP proposal, says it's not pursuing 'chaos strategy'

Sinn Féin rejects DUP proposal, says it's not pursuing 'chaos strategy'

Sinn Féin rejects DUP proposal, says it's not pursuing 'chaos strategy'

The latest move to break the political deadlock in Northern Ireland appears to have failed.

On Friday morning the party's Northern leader Michelle O'Neill told reporters DUP leader Arlene Foster had made an offer in a Thursday evening speech she "knew would be rejected".

"Northern Ireland simply can not continue without democratic oversight and that means the speedy introduction of direct rule if agreement is not reached".

"The Democratic Unionist Party has always believed that Northern Ireland is best governed by a democratic, fair and accountable government comprising locally elected representatives".

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Foster said that a series of "one-sided demands" by Sinn Fein had made progress impossible and that they must move to achieve a breakthrough. Instead she said that she was willing to give undertakings to address the concerns of Irish speakers.

Michelle O Neill, Sinn's Féin's leader in Northern Ireland, said the DUP had not acknowledged the reasons for the collapse of devolved government in January.

"For over ten years Martin McGuinness maintained the executive while seeking to have the outstanding commitments of the agreements implemented with respect and equality for all".

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"We have previously supported practical measures for the Irish language and we will do so again if we can reach a wider agreement on these matters".

"However, what we can not and will not do is simply agree to one-sided demands".

"I am proposing that we restore an Executive immediately", she said.

Ms O'Neill welcomed comments from Ms Foster that unionism has nothing to fear from the Irish language but said the "natural follow through to that is to legislate for language rights".

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