General Election

Sinn Féin calls for restored Stormont institutions to be 'just and sustainable'

Sinn Féin Westminster candidates (L-R) Oliver McMullan, Micky Brady, Francie Molloy, Paul Maskey and Orfhlaith Begley at the launch of the party's manifesto in Derry. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire

SINN Féin has called for a just and sustainable power-sharing administration at Stormont.

Deputy leader Michelle O'Neill said her party wanted a "successful conclusion" to any forthcoming negotiations, which are scheduled to begin in the aftermath of the Westminster election.

She was speaking in Derry yesterday as the party launched its manifesto for the December 12 poll, which calls for moves to advance Irish unity and outlines opposition to Brexit.

"Confidence in the politics of the north is broken and we need to rebuild that confidence and the way to do that is to honour previous agreements, the way to do that is actually for us all to work together," Ms O'Neill said.

Sinn Féin wants action on what it terms equality issues, like enshrining use of the Irish language into law, protection of welfare payments, and reforms to how the Stormont assembly operates to make it harder to veto laws.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has taken steps to meet Irish speakers and has said her party is ready to quickly return to government while addressing outstanding issues.

Ms O'Neill said wanted a "successful conclusion" to any forthcoming negotiations.

"We have always stood ready to re-form the executive, we believe in the assembly and the executive because we believe in the promise of the Good Friday Agreement, the hope, but that is going to take all political parties working together," she said.

"That is going to mean that we need to see delivery on the outstanding issues; that is going to mean re-forming an Executive that is both sustainable and credible."

She voiced hope that Stormont's other parties would join the talks with the sincere aim of forming an executive, which needed to be "just" and "credible".

"We stand ready to conclude the talks process, to find a positive resolution, to find a just executive, one that actually tackles the issues that people actually want us to tackle, one that takes on and funds properly public services, one that has a strong economic strategy, one that actually supports rural communities, one that actually deals with the mitigation measures that we need to bring forward to deal with the Tory welfare reform issues, which we know are devastating communities," Ms O'Neill said.

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said a deal to restore the institutions was “entirely doable”.

"Can this be done? Absolutely – You could do this in a day,” she said.

The party president added that the election was about a “rejection of Brexit”.

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General Election