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DUP defeated in bid to adjourn Northern Ireland Assembly over IRA murder claims

Call for intensive talks in bid to resolve latest crisis

Published 01/09/2015

Business could be suspended at Stormont.
Business could be suspended at Stormont.

The DUP has been defeated in its bid to have the Northern Ireland Assembly adjourned.

The party had been seeking the break in an attempt to hold crisis talks over claims the IRA was involved in the murder of Kevin McGuigan in Belfast.

Danny Kennedy tendered his resignation. Pic Presseye
Danny Kennedy tendered his resignation. Pic Presseye

A DUP spokesman said: “We have sought to extend the Assembly recess, to not return until October. That was not successful.”

The powersharing institutions have been thrown into chaos after the PSNI said that while members were involved, they had no evidence to suggest the shooting of the father-of-nine was sanctioned by the terrorist organisation's leadership.

Over the weekend, the UUP confirmed it would leave the Executive over the claims and look to form an opposition.

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy formally tendered his resignation today.

However, DUP leader and First Minister Peter Robinson, writing exclusively in yesterday's Telegraph, called for cool heads and steely resolve.

"This is not the time to flee the battlefield," he said, "it is the time to confront violent republicanism, to stand and fight for democratic principles and to do what is right for the law-abiding citizens of Northern Ireland who want to see our country prosper and reach its full potential."

He also called for "intensive talks" in a bid to broker a resolution.

The DUP is also set to meet with Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday evening.

It's believed the party will ask Mr Cameron to suspend the institutions.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has also sought meetings with both the Prime Minister and Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

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Kevin McGuigan was shot at his home in the Short Strand last month.

It is widely thought the attack was in revenge for the killing of ex-IRA leader Gerard 'Jock' Davison in the Markets area of the city in May.

Sinn Fein has repeatedly stressed the IRA has "gone away".

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From Belfast Telegraph