Belfast Telegraph

Stormont's powersharing government is in crisis say Sinn Fein

Northern Ireland's political powersharing administration is in crisis, Sinn Fein claimed today.

Tensions have been high since the largest party in the coalition, the Democratic Unionists (DUP), pulled out of a deal to build a peace and conflict resolution centre at the site of a former prison at the Maze near Belfast.

It followed a summer of street violence around loyal order parades and protests. Almost 700 police officers have been injured in a little over a year.

DUP First Minister Peter Robinson's shift on the Maze, site of the republican hunger strikes, followed a controversial republican commemoration of two IRA men killed by their own bomb in Castlederg, Co Tyrone, last month.

Unionists accused senior Sinn Fein member Gerry Kelly of giving a speech there which could glorify terrorism.

Former US diplomat Richard Haass is chairing all-party talks which seek a resolution to disagreements over parades, emblems and how to deal with the legacy of the conflict.

Mr Kelly told the BBC's Stephen Nolan Show that the powersharing arrangements were in "crisis".

But a spokesman for the DUP claimed Sinn Fein was talking up a crisis.

He said: "We have had problems in the past. It is about sitting down and working through those problems."

Mr Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness were in New York meeting business leaders earlier this month and are planning to travel to Japan before the end of the year.

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