Sinn Fein to nominate O’Neill as United Kingdom makes Irish language vow

18 Juin, 2021, 03:50 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Edwin Poots and Mary Lou McDonald

Northern Ireland's biggest parties agreed on Thursday to back a replacement for former First Minister Arlene Foster, staving off a fresh political crisis in the British-run region that threatened to lead to a snap election.

"We share significant challenges ahead to build economic and societal recovery as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic".

Mr Coveney said the package of language and identity legislation agreed in New Decade, New Approach deal was "detailed and balanced" and should be implemented.

"This would be better done in the Assembly as agreed past year but it is welcome that the Secretary of State has given an assurance these positive measures agreed in support of linguistic diversity and cultural expression in Northern Ireland are now to be put in place through legislation in Westminster if necessary", Mr Coveney said.

Edwin Poots is set to stand down as DUP leader following an internal revolt against him.

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McDonald added that the agreement with the United Kingdom government marked a "special moment" for Irish-language speakers. The pair also drove from Stormont House without speaking to the media.

The development came after a night of intensive talks between Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis and DUP and Sinn Féin delegations in Belfast.

The joint nature of the office Mrs Foster shared with Ms O'Neill in the latter's first term as deputy First Minister meant Ms O'Neill was automatically removed from the post on Monday and had to be nominated for the role again within those seven days.

Sinn Fein will therefore participate fully in the five-party executive, McDonald said in a statement, clearing the way for Givan to become first minister.

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