Stormont deal unlikely thanks to “hostile” atmosphere during marching season, Sinn Fein claims

Posted By: July 04, 2017

Conor Murphy accuses DUP of “lack of urgency” over ongoing talks to restore Assembly

Michael McHugh and David Young. Belfast Live. Monday, July 3, 2017

A deal to restore power sharing in Northern Ireland is unlikely to materialize in the short term, given heightened tensions around the summer marching season, Sinn Fein has said.

Ahead of a UK government statement on the way ahead for the faltering negotiations at Stormont, Sinn Fein negotiator Conor Murphy again accused the DUP of refusing to budge on a series of outstanding disputes. 

The party is demanding DUP movement on a proposed Irish Language Act; a Bill of Rights for the region; legalization of same sex marriage; and around measures dealing with the legacy of the Troubles.

The DUP has characterized Sinn Fein’s demands as excessive, accusing the party of wanting a “10-nil win” in negotiations.

Mr. Murphy said: “We don’t see any urgency in terms of the DUP approach to this and we don’t expect and don’t think it is likely that there will be a deal in the short term because there is that lack of urgency.”
Reflecting on the upcoming Twelfth of July, the mainstay of the loyal order marching season, he added: “We are in the bizarre situation, I’m sure it’s unique to here, that over the summer time we have to break because the atmosphere becomes too hostile for political negotiations.”

Mr. Murphy continued: “Now we find ourselves up against the Twelfth of July where the atmosphere becomes so hostile that the DUP are even less likely to move on some of these issues.”

Options open to Mr. Brokenshire include setting another deadline for a talks process which began in March, calling this year’s second snap assembly election or reimposing some form of direct rule from Westminster.