By Cillian Sherlock, PA
The leader and deputy leader of Sinn Féin are meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar “on the need for the institutions in the North to be restored without delay”.
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said there is now “absolutely no excuse” for a return to powersharing considering the Windsor Framework has been agreed by the European Commission and the UK Government.
“We’re ready to go,” she said.
Ms McDonald said the Irish Government needs to bring a sense of pace, urgency and purpose to getting the Assembly and Executive “back up and running”.
“This is a collective effort and success has always been when we’ve been working together,” she said.
Ms McDonald said Sinn Féin expects to have “common cause” with Mr Varadkar in making a return to power-sharing happen “in time for the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement”.
Ms McDonald said while it is “reasonable” for the DUP to reflect on the Windsor Framework, she added what is “not reasonable is to delay”.
“We too need clarity and certain clarifications, but we are absolutely convinced we can all do that work whilst having the Assembly and the Executive running,” she said
Also attending the meeting, Sinn Féin leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O’Neill said there “shouldn’t be any more delays”.
“We need to be in the Executive today. The DUP walked away,” she said.