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What the newspapers thought after Stormont talks failed

The front page of yesterday's News Letter

The News Letter has welcomed the DUP's decision to walk away from a deal with Sinn Féin with a front page editorial.

It's 'Morning View' column was yesterday headlined "A grim moment, yes, but also a very necessary one".

"What happened at Stormont yesterday, when Arlene Foster announced that it was not possible to reach a deal with Sinn Féin, was a grim milestone for Northern Ireland," it said.

"But it was, nonetheless, a necessary development.

"Since it collapse the Executive last January, Sinn Féin has had red lines for the re-establishment of power-sharing. The DUP has had none.

"But many observers have confused the fact that the DUP has rightly resisted republican red lines with the party issuing red lines of its own. It didn't.

"Only Sinn Féin thinks that it can make demands that must be granted before everyone can get a devolved government."

On Monday the Belfast newspaper had called on the DUP to "resist Sinn Féin intransigence" as the political talks appeared to be gathering pace.

The Belfast Telegraph, meanwhile, struck a different approach to the talks collapse by renewing the suggestion to "start slashing our politicians' pay".

"Once again it would appear that Northern Ireland's politicians have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, " it said.

It added: "The Secretary of State previously signalled that she would reduce salaries if devolution was not restored.

"No matter what she says publicly can she really believe devolution is on the cards? If not will she start to wield the long-promised stick of pay cuts?"

In its editorial, the Daily Mirror criticised Mrs Foster's decision.

"As another round of talks ends in failure, is it not time to ask why the DUP can hold the whole country to ransom," it asked.

"Party leader Arlene Foster pulled the plug on a deal with Sinn Féin yesterday afternoon and blamed it on the republicans' immovable stance on an Irish Language Act.

"But the very Act was agreed by the DUP founder, the later Ian Paisley, when he signed the St Andrews Agreement in 2006.

"So it would be fair to ask whether this is being made a scapegoat for the DUP's decision to quit the talks."

The Irish Times also considered how the collapse of the talks will "test Anglo-Irish ties" in its editorial.

"By announcing that an Executive cannot be formed at this time and calling for the imposition of direct rule from Westminster, DUP leader Arlene Foster has raised the political stakes while attempting to disguise her negotiating failure," it said.

It added that "Foster's nerve failed".

"As unchallenged leader of the DUP, she should ignore her critics and display leadership and courage."

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