Northern Ireland: May urged to 'take forward equal marriage'

Sinn Fein leaders with Irish language activists last month

Sinn Fein leaders with Irish language activists last month

She said the text included a review of the Assembly's contentious voting mechanism - the Petition of Concern - and the establishment of a committee to look at the potential of drawing up a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland.

It comes after the latest round of negotiations between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Fein, aimed at restoring Northern Ireland's executive at Stormont, failed to reach a deal.

SINN FEIN will meet with leaders of both the Irish and United Kingdom governments today to discuss the failed bid to restore power-sharing in the North.

He told BBC Radio Ulster: "How irresponsible would it be for any political party to allow talks to continue with those unresolved issues, that we all knew were there, that we all knew had to be closed, how irresponsible would it have been to continue that into next week in the knowledge that a budget that to be passed".

"We had reached an accommodation with the leadership of the DUP".

The DUP has rejected the claims, insisting no final deal was on the table.

The two parties blamed each other for the impasse that threatens power-sharing, the key achievement of Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord that ended decades of bloodshed.

Many unionists see the promotion of Irish as an attempt to undermine Northern Ireland's British identity, and as a step toward Sinn Fein's ultimate goal of joining it with the Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom where same-sex marriage is not recognised in law, leading to several attempts in the Stormont assembly to introduce marriage equality.

Civil servants have run the government in Northern Ireland since the administration collapsed, with major spending and policy decisions deferred.

The surprise breakdown in talks came just two days after the British and Irish prime ministers visited Belfast and said the parties were close to a deal.

She said: "In the continued absence of an executive, other challenging decisions will have to be taken by the U.K. Government, and I will update Parliament when the House returns from recess next week".

May said she'd urged the politicians "to make one final push for the sake of the people of Northern Ireland".

Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary, Karen Bradley, said in the absence of a Northern Ireland administration "other challenging decisions will have to be taken by the United Kingdom government".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.