DUP: Sinn Fein '˜not interested' in Northern Irish devolution

The leader of Northern Ireland's biggest political party has accused Sinn Fein of having no interest in working to break Stormont's political deadlock.
DUP leader Arlene Foster (right) with Theresa MayDUP leader Arlene Foster (right) with Theresa May
DUP leader Arlene Foster (right) with Theresa May

After months of impasse and a series of missed deadlines to re-establish a devolved executive the DUP’s Arlene Foster said the republican party was unwilling to compromise or build a shared future for the country.

She confirmed that talks aimed at restoring powersharing will restart at the end of August but added that she has reached “the conclusion that Sinn Fein are not interested in devolution”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The bitter political rift between Stormont’s two main parties – the Democratic Unionists and Sinn Fein – has left the region without a first and deputy first minister since January and a functioning executive since March.

The parties remain at loggerheads over a range of issues, including the shape of legislation to protect Irish language speakers, the DUP’s opposition to lifting the region’s ban on same-sex marriage, and mechanisms to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

Talks between the parties were postponed for the summer after they failed to reach agreement.

“The talks will begin again in earnest at the end of August,” said Mrs Foster. “But given some of the commentary over the summer from Sinn Fein it does point to me that Sinn Fein aren’t interested in devolution or an agreement with their neighbours in Northern Ireland.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She accused Sinn Fein of showing “no spirit of compromise” and “no willingness to build a shared future for all the people of Northern Ireland”.

“It’s their way or no way. We want to see devolution but it takes two to make this work and if they don’t want to make it work then we will have to move on to a different situation,” she said.

“We can’t keep going on and on. There’s a growing frustration.

“I regretfully have come to the conclusion that Sinn Fein aren’t interested in devolution.”