Belfast Telegraph

Michelle O'Neill: British Government 'biggest stumbling block' in move to get Stormont up and running

Michelle O’Neill has claimed the British Government is the “biggest stumbling block” in the move to get the Stormont Executive back up and running.

Sinn Fein’s Northern leader warned that the “clock is ticking” on the talks to secure full implementation of agreements.

And party president Gerry Adams mocked Secretary of State James Brokenshire’s threat to call another election if the Stormont talks fail.

“It is a sign of change that a British Government is threating us with an election. Back in the day, the threat was martial law, internment, censorship, and lead and plastic bullets. So, Mr Brokenshire’s threat is progress.”

Speaking in Dublin today, Mrs O’Neill said she welcomed recent comments by Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan calling on the British to honour the agreement to release funding to allow around 50 conflict related inquests to proceed.

“The clock is ticking on talks to secure the full implementation of the agreements and to rebuild public confidence in the institutions,” she said.

“Behind each of these inquests are families that have not been afforded the basic right to an inquest for their loved ones. Some having been waiting for 45 years. The funding for these legacy inquests is agreed.  Mr Brokenshire should release this money as the Lord Chief Justice has requested.

“This British Government continue to refuse to honour their obligations and refuse to implement other outstanding issues from the agreements. This approach by the British Government is the biggest impediment in the talks. The Irish Government must live up to their role as co-equal guarantor of the agreements to ensure that the British Government act,” added Mrs O’Neill.

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