Powersharing parties must be ready to compromise: Leo Varadkar
Fresh talks aimed at restoring the coalition at Stormont are to take place next week.
Northern Ireland’s political leaders must be prepared to give and take if negotiations to restore powersharing are to succeed, the Taoiseach has said.
Leo Varadkar urged the DUP and Sinn Fein to be prepared to compromise when talks resume next week.
Mr Varadkar commented on the forthcoming initiative after a meeting of the Irish Government in Cork.
He referenced his own experience with Fine Gael operating in coalition administrations south of the border.
“As is always the case when it comes to forming a coalition agreement, and forming a coalition – I’ve been involved in two coalitions now – there has to be give and take and there has to be some compromise,” he said.
“So I am not calling on either party to make any specific compromise, but I am just sending the message out to both parties that they should be willing to compromise.
“Because without that, we won’t have an agreement.
“And I want them to know if they are willing to make difficult compromises, compromises that maybe mightn’t go down very well with their support bases, the governments will be fully behind them in that, and will give them whatever cover and support they need to do it.”
The new talks process, which was announced by the UK and Irish governments last week, will start on May 7.
The ongoing political stalemate has left Northern Ireland without a devolved government for more than two years.
Efforts to resurrect the powersharing institutions have been injected with fresh impetus following the death of journalist Lyra McKee, 29, at the hands of a dissident republican gunman amid unrest in Londonderry on April 18.
The last Democratic Unionist/Sinn Fein-led powersharing coalition imploded in January 2017 amid a row about a botched renewable energy scheme.
The rift between the erstwhile partners-in-government subsequently widened to take in disputes over the Irish language, same-sex marriage and the legacy of the Troubles.