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Martin McGuinness optimistic Stormont Executive can return

By David Young, PA

The Deputy First Minister has expressed optimism that Stormont can be saved and returned to "good working order".

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness reiterated his hope that cross-party talks to resolve a crisis sparked by an IRA-linked murder will begin on Monday.

While neither the DUP nor Ulster Unionists have confirmed they will take their place at the table in Stormont on Monday, Mr McGuinness said he was "cautiously optimistic" the talks would start.

At a Sinn Fein event on the migrant crisis, he said: "I do think, as the eternal optimist of the peace process, that we will shortly resolve our difficulties, that we will have an Executive back in place, in good working order, and we will have an Assembly doing its job."

The mandatory coalition Executive in Belfast is teetering on the verge of collapse, with all but one of its unionist ministers having walked out over the shooting of former IRA member Kevin McGuigan. Police said current members of the IRA were involved in shooting the 53-year-old father-of-nine last month.

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