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Leaked Northern Ireland talks document confirmed as latest version


Gerry Kelly

Gerry Kelly

Jeffrey Donaldson

Jeffrey Donaldson


Gerry Kelly

The draft agreement to resurrect Stormont, which was leaked to the media this week, was the most recent version that the DUP and Sinn Fein had been working on before the talks collapsed, it has been confirmed.

Just days after talks between the parties broke down, a draft of the deal that had been on the table was leaked to journalist Eamonn Mallie on Tuesday.

Clearly marked draft, the 13 page document details areas agreed on, with the sections which have still to be agreed marked with brackets.

It included an Irish language act, an Ulster Scots and a respecting culture and diversity act, as well as accommodations on other issues.

In the first joint media appearance of senior politicians from the DUP and Sinn Fein, Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly appeared on BBC NI's The View programme last night.

During that discussion it was for the first time confirmed that the leaked agreement was the most recent one from the negotiations table.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph following the broadcast, Sir Jeffrey said: "That was where discussions had got to when we reached an impasse."

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He emphasised: "There were still key elements that had not been agreed, obviously we had not agreed an Irish Language Act", and pointed out that the sections on language were among those in brackets clearly indicating that they had not been agreed.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly also claimed on the programme that his party had a secret deal over legacy agreed with the UK Government.

Mr Kelly indicated that the deal would see the funds which the Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan needs to legacy inquests released.

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