Micheál Martin. RollingNews.ie photo.

British Move Significant Says Martin

Micheál Martin has said that it is “significant” that there is talk about a financial package from the British government to help restore the power-sharing executive at Stormont.

Sinn Féin has warned that any discussions around additional funding should involve all the parties and not just be a DUP “wish list." The DUP are refusing to return to Stormont over its protest against the post-Brexit Irish Sea border.

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Speaking in Cavan, Martin, who is both Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, said: “I never want to pre-empt what others may do. I’ve always been consistent in the view that it’s obviously in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland that the mandate they gave their political representatives would be fulfilled and the Assembly would be restored.

“I have engaged with all the political parties in Northern Ireland on this. I had a more substantive meeting over the last fortnight with Chris Heaton-Harris (Northern Ireland Secretary of State).

“The exact timeline for this is not at all clear, and I think other parties are still deliberating on issues. I think it is significant and it is interesting that people are discussing funding issues and the financial frameworks that will govern the role of the executive and the assembly over the next number of years.”

Mr. Martin said he hoped to meet Northern Ireland parties in the weeks ahead.

Speaking after a meeting with Chris Heaton-Harris, Sinn Féin MLA and former Finance Minister, Conor Murphy said: “This isn’t one party’s wish list. We have ideas, the other parties have ideas, in relation to what is needed to try and offset some of the worst damage that the British government’s budget has made, so he agreed, he accepted that point, that this is a discussion for all parties and senior civil servants as well.”