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Stormont crisis: power-sharing talks focus on paramilitary activity

Political talks to save the faltering power-sharing institutions continued at Stormont House on Monday.

The first day of the second week of negotiations focused on ongoing paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland and how to end it for good.

Round table exchanges book-ended a series of bi and trilateral meetings involving Stormont's five main parties and the UK and Irish governments.

While Irish Foreign minister Charlie Flanagan has been the Dublin administration's main representative at the table to date, he is currently on a visit to the USA, so Irish minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald took his place in Belfast.

Negotiations will shift to new structures to deal with the toxic legacy of the Troubles on Tuesday.

The devolved Assembly has been thrown into chaos following the murder of ex-IRA man Kevin McGuigan last month.

A police assessment that individual members of the IRA were involved in the murder has prompted unionists to remove all ministers but one from the coalition Executive.

Prior to the Belfast shooting, the future viability of the administration had already been in doubt as a consequence of long-standing budgetary disputes, with the row over the non-implementation of the UK Government's welfare reforms the most vexed.

The fallout from the murder and the other political wrangles are all on the table for discussion during the talks process at Stormont House.

A conclusion is not expected for a number of weeks.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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