Michelle O’Neill proposes a resumption of talks

Michelle O’Neill has proposed the formal resumption of talks to begin on 28th August;

“With limited engagement since the talks concluded on 4th July, I am keen to formally re-engage at the earliest opportunity in order to re-establish an Executive and power sharing institutions on a proper and sustainable footing.

“Moreover, I do not believe there is much public appetite, or need, for another drawn-out phase of talks.

“In this context, and with an eagerness to resolve outstanding issues, I am also formally proposing that this round of talks be focused and time limited.”

However, the DUP response has been unsurprisingly critical;

There goes the Summer….

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  • DaptoDogs

    Not before time really.

  • LordSummerisle

    How very gracious ! Another boring season with hints of autumnal glumness.

  • Glenn

    She wants a resumption of talks, thats a nice sound bite and propaganda peace for the compliant media. Shouldn’t have brought Stormont down in the first place, puppet.

  • ted hagan

    If people are dumb enough to vote continually for DUP and SF why do they complain about the resulting shambles?

  • Thomas Girvan

    Does anyone really care anymore?
    If Stormont does resume we are just going to get the same bunch of numpties back.
    What have they ever thought of or done that was original or creative?
    All they want is to push the same old tribal agendas.
    Nearly twenty years since the GFA and we still have a society that’s as polarised as ever.
    Stop their pay they’re a lot of chancers!.

  • William Kinmont

    Really we should have had an election by now except that that would have delivered more of the same.
    Allowing the parties who have held up or governing more time to negotiate in the limelight is only reinforcing their own self importance and their pseudo importance to the electorate.
    Holding the country and it’s finances to to ransome is not a stick to these guys neither has been the crisis of brexit. If anything holding out longer no matter the crisis is an electoral plus for them.
    We have had to go through this phase tolerating the reinforcement of the big 2 to carry us further down the road from the troubles, now something has to be tweaked to get us moving again. The real negotiation has to happen away from our turkeys they won’t vote for Christmas. There needs to be changes to the system to support the role of the opposition making their alternative program for government a threat with electoral teeth. Such a change where the opposition was also a manditory coalition of both sides would not affect the constitutional status either way or the spirit of the GFA.

  • T.E.Lawrence

    “If anything holding out longer no matter the crisis is an electoral plus for them” I tend to agree with this statement – the deeper entrenchment both sides drive themselves into and play hard ball the more votes they seem to get ?

  • Jag

    “I am also formally proposing that this round of talks be focused and time limited”

    So the previous 3-4 months (they weren’t talking during the Westminster elections and they stopped talking in July) weren’t “focused”? Because they were certainly “time limited”, though the limit was pushed out several times.

    What’s the “focus” now? Is Arlene’s position as putative first minister still a red line (like it was for Martin McGuinness whose last act in office was to resign because Arlene wouldn’t temporarily step aside during the inquiry)? Is an Irish Language Act still a red line? What about marriage equality?

    As far as I can see, there is nothing new at all in Shelle’s proposal.

  • Jag

    After 6 months of unprecedented cooperation between the DUP and SF in 2016, remember the restraint of the DUP in seeking Mairtin O’Muilleoir’s head over the coaching of Jamie Bryson at the NAMA inquiry? Remember SF supporting the DUP in stopping the resumption of the NAMA inquiry last October. Despite incidents which would normally have threatened the Assembly, the worked through it.

    It took something with the proportions of the RHI scandal and the role of Arlene Foster (both her established role and the role alleged by Jonathan Bell). for the Shinners to decide they had to pull the plug. £500m of overspend, unprecedented incompetence with a whiff of sleaze, and the possibility of worse. Remember the circus last December, the fiasco of the Stormont hearing with all parties calling for an inquiry, and then the increasingly loud calls from SF over a 14-day period for Arlene to temporarily step aside during the inquiry. And she refused.

    So, the Shinners brought the Assembly down. Many, I think a majority, would say they were justified in the circumstances.

  • Jag

    Because voting for the SDLP and UUP was sooooo much better, eh Ted?

  • Jag

    On 2nd September, each of the 90 MLAs will have cost £24k plus benefits plus an average of £36k in expenses including constituency expenses. That’s £5.4m. Minimum.

  • William Kinmont

    Something has to change at some point any ideas?

  • Jeff

    Hamilton is right (surprised I’m agreeing with a DUP rep) get back into an executive and talk in parallel. Not ideal but it means we can help the NHS, care services and all the other sectors that require political decisions to run more effectively. My guess is Sinn Fein don’t have the will to do it. More empty words from the leader!!!! In the north

  • Jag

    At this point, because of the weird Westminster election, with the DUP in the passenger seat (or back seat constantly kicking the driver seat, whining “are we there yet”) of a weakened Tory government, dealing with greatest political challenge in half a century, I can’t see the dynamic which is going to encourage the Tory SoS and the DUP to re-establish an Assembly.

    SF needs a dynamic to force the SoS into action. The only dynamic I can see is through civil disobedience and community unrest, as a precursor to military action.After all, there’s a 1998 peace treaty and the British are effectively repudiating it.

  • Jeff

    What are you talking about jag? Civil disobedience and military action! Hells bells man have we not had enough of that nonsense. No what we need to for the 2 main parties to talk and get an accord, it will never be ideal but at present it is the needy that are feeling the brunt of no political leadership.

  • Gary Thompson

    Yeah, cos that really worked well the last time it was tried didn’t it? Do you have shares in an undertaker’s? Perhaps you’re a freelance grave digger? I really can’t see any other reason for wanting what you appear to propose.

  • Jeff

    Please show evidence of the majority thinking they were justified in bringing down the assembly.

  • Mike the First

    “I can’t see the dynamic which is going to encourage the Tory SoS and the DUP to re-establish an Assembly”

    Erm…have you completely missed statements like those of Hamilton above along the lines that the DUP are prepared to go back into the Executive with SF tomorrow?

  • Dan2

    Thats all they’ve ever had to fall back on. Their threat.
    Time they were told to f off.

  • sparrow

    I agree. Randolph Churchill even coined a phrase to describe the constant threat of violence from Irish republicans. He called it ‘the Orange Card’. Oh, hold on…I might’ve got that wrong…

  • Paddy Reilly

    History is being slightly rewritten here, since of course it was the UUP that first raised objections to the DUP’s corruptions, while SF was prepared to turn a blind eye. It eventually came on board because it wouldn’t do to be seen as more pro-DUP than the Ulster Unionist Party.

    So we must assume that any vote to censure the DUP will have the backing of SF, SDLP, PBP, Alliance, Green and UPP, a vast majority.

    However, in the severity of this censure, the UUP will drop out before it damages Unionist interests, and Alliance and Greens before it starts to promote Nationalist interests, and PBP and SDLP before it starts to promote SF.

  • ted hagan

    You make too many assumptions. New non-sectarian parties need to emerge from this cesspit.
    ‘You may say I’m a dreamer… blah, blah, blah, plonkety, plonk…’

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “But still it goes on….” (apologise to Robert Graves, circa 1930)….and still they get paid, even if they were turfed out of their seat. Alex Atwood, as just one example:


  • ted hagan

    Do you remember the Troubles or were you not born yet?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “New non-sectarian parties need to emerge from this cesspit.”

    I can only see this happening once our hard particularities are dissolved in an all Ireland assembly once someone actually “opens the windows” for the first time in a century.

  • DOUG

    Just in time for the kids to go back to school

  • Sub

    Ted as long as the north continues to exist your dream will remain unfulfilled. It is an irreformable sectarian cesspit that is why you have the majority of voters voting for the bi$ots and extremists.

  • Jag

    The 1998 peace treaty is being repudiated before our eyes. The Border Poll is being denied, with no credible explanation from Brokenshire. N Ireland is being governed from London, with the support of one community. If the peace treaty has been torn up, what else do you expect.

    What amuses me is the British forgetfulness about how good Paddy is at starting a fight.

  • Jag

    If one side is repudiating the peace treaty, what do you expect? Sweetness and light?

  • Jeff

    Jag your insighting violence here and it does your argument immense harm.

    ‘re the border poll it is stated that when there is a clear majority who wish there to be a UI a border poll will be called. At present that is not the case.

    Also the good Friday agreement is not a peace treaty it’s an agreement on a framework to move forward.

    We can be governed from storming quite easily it just requires political leadership from both main parties that has been sadly lacking particularly from Sinn Fein, Who are quite happy to winge and complain but when bit comes to bit do not wish to lead.

    Lastly please stop with the calls for violence as you are coming across as both silly and sinister at the same time, quite a feat!

  • The worm!

    The “peace treaty” also makes it quite plain that Northern Ireland is part of the UK and remains so until the majority declare otherwise.

    Republicans have never respected that so to accuse others of flaunting it is hypocritical in the extreme.

    As for your other threats, given what is behind us, utterly disgusting. But at least we’re actually starting to see the true colours of “modern” republicanism yet again, something which some of us have always thought was never that far beneath the surface anyhow.

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!”

  • Jeff

    The only person repudiating the agreement is you with your threats of violence

  • sparrow

    ‘re the border poll it is stated that when there is a clear majority who wish there to be a UI a border poll will be called. At present that is not the case.’

    Not necessarily true. Read this.


  • Old Mortality

    ‘It took something with the proportions of the RHI scandal and the role of Arlene Foster (both her established role and the role alleged by Jonathan Bell). for the Shinners to decide they had to pull the plug.’
    But they don’t seem to be much troubled by it these days, if they ever were. SF being concerned about British taxpayers’ money being wasted was always a bit fanciful. Besides, now that they’ve discovered the identity of some of the main beneficiaries, they may have decided to make less noise about it and just send the fundraisers round.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Well nearly 200,000 people though so.

    May I remind you:

    DUP 28.1%
    Sinn Féin 27.9%
    Everyone Else 44.0%

  • Kevin Breslin

    Why not join an existing party and steer it the way you want it to be?

  • Dan2

    The leader in the north is the puppet of the bearded agitator in the south.
    He’s had a decades long malign influence on all our lives. Time the books were opened on him

  • Tochais Siorai

    Why aren’t MLA salaries dependent on the executive and assembly being up and running?

  • Kevin Breslin

    I think the bigger questions are who makes these decisions … and do they have glass windows?

  • The worm!

    He won’t live forever.

    Someday his time WILL come!

  • The worm!

    Well to be fair, what we’re all more used to is “Paddy” shouting foul when somebody dares to fight back.

    That pretty much negates any supposed initial bravado!

  • james

    Is she proposing a resumption of talks – or a resumption of the process whereby SF play to their most boneheaded supporters by total intransigence in said talks, periodic threats to walk out of said talks, and then ultimate abandonment of talks, much to the chagrin of everybody else?

  • Ruairi Murphy

    “Military action”? You should be more considered with the language you use and the ease at which you throw out a grave threat like that. What sort of feelings and images do you think such a threat conjures up in the minds of the majority of people on this forum, particularly those of a Unionist/British persuasion?

    “The war is over” and the IRA has disbanded, we were assured. This was not and can not be conditional. There can be no return to the days of the past and must be a commitment to pursuing republican objectives through wholly peaceful means.

    You’re statement is so far out of step with the majority of people in the Nationalist and Republican community. Yes there is frustration at the current uncertainty and lack of progress at Stormont but there is NO appetite for a return to conflict. The GFA is a huge achievement that everyone can be proud of and older generations can feel safe in the knowledge that their children can grow up in a largely peaceful environment and in much better circumstances than their parents. Those of us who believe in reunification have a framework and process to pursue that aim, should we wish, through peaceful political means. Your flippancy on this is not welcome.

    How can we expect to engage with the British population of Northern Ireland on any issue and talk about a “respect agenda” when people like you threaten to throw open the gates to conflict again? You have ceded any moral standing once you do that and you only serve to harden attitudes.

  • Zig70

    Let’s get an Irish language act in place and move on. DUP/UUP need to calm their fear of all things Irish.

  • Jeff

    Well said ruairi, I’d just add that he, Jag, is out of step with the whole community

  • Granni Trixie

    The Speaker is still being paid too! Brass necks.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Case and point Corbyn, Momentum and Labour.

  • Aodh Morrison

    ‘Brass in Pocket’ as they may hum on the way to the bank.

  • Mister_Joe

    “Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold” W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming.

  • Stephen Kelly

    the bearded agitator in the south the crocodile oh dear here we go again i have to out and vote for Sinn Feinn. Your day will come to Mr worm ho hum.

  • Stephen Kelly

    Oh dear i am a bonehead a crocodile and i can think of a lot of names catholic nationalists are called but Mick doesn’t want repeated on here . But thank god we are going to be saved by the non boneheaded DUP/UDA/UVF alphabet they are going to agree to gay marriage like the rest of the UK, a language act like the rest of the UK, abortion by choice for the woman like the rest of the UK, brill. well that’s it then fek Sinn Feinn i am going to vote DUP/UDA/UVF as a big thank you.

  • Stephen Kelly

    Wow Joe just Wow.

  • Stephen Kelly

    Not in my name or anyone i know and i know a lot of nationalists and no way would they ever contemplate such a thing its over finished done except for a few nutters Jag. I like things you post but no way is this a runner.

  • james


  • Stephen Kelly

    Here we fekking go the worm and his buddies will be out in force now to stick it to the nationalists great stuff is it long until the twelfth holidays until i get a away again. Edit Oopps theirs Dan below welcome aboard Dan.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Jag, has someone hacked your account?

  • aquifer

    The DUP are scared of talks, because the SF croppies don’t need to lie down this time.

    Davis seems to be headed for a hard Brexit border at the Irish sea, and Corbyn’s labour party are unlikely to have any objection to that location for customs posts. The Irish government seem to have the entire EU behind them!

    Brexit could be ugly for NI and the Union, and the DUP now own it. Likewise benefit reform, agriculture post EU, and austerity cuts. And now SF want to land them with some extra blame, for failing to re-start the assembly.

    The divisive and sectarian DUP strategy always risked leaving a sticky red white and blue high tide mark around the bathtub, exposed for permanent viewing if Gerry pulled the plug. Not an advert for any British Union worth having.

  • Stephen Kelly

    particularly those of a Unionist/British persuasion? Now hang on their i am a nationalist and the unionist /British made me who was completely on the sidelines suffer greatly both mentally physically and monetarily just hold your horses and go and ask for instance Majella O’Hare’s family about the poor British /unionist people. I am done i think.

  • Stephen Kelly

    You just called me names Eh?

  • Jeff


  • eamoncorbett

    Yeah, but today he called it a stunt. Anyway it won’t matter too much because if there’s a hard Brexit, SF will walk away again.

  • james

    Uhm…. no.

    I said “SF play to their most boneheaded supporters”

    Even if you’re saying, as you seem to be, “but hey…I’m one of SF’s most boneheaded supporters!!” that still doesn’t stretch to me, personally, calling you names. You appear to be calling yourself names…

    Good try, though, to fabricate a personal grievance.

  • Zack E. Nolan 2

    Does she indeed. No decent Unionist should go back into power with SF until they stop making silly demands like this.

  • Croiteir

    And there was me thinking that Sinn Fein said they were against abortion – did you just through that in there for the craic?

  • Stephen Kelly

    Sorry you but you called a bonehead and your unionist brethren called me a crocodile me and lots of other things over the years i ignored but now i am very hurt do you know i have new knees and a new hip arthritis in my spine and lower back and that i had only ever voted for the good Friday agreement and i asked and found all my children young professionals chartered accountants and such (yes i am very lucky and proud of them)and their husbands and extended family’s , they are married to two great men whose fathers are very successful business people and they work in the business not passengers. People who i thought would be SDLP voters are all Sinn Feinn voters. And now i am a fekking crocodile done no one any harm and now i have to drag my weary bones to a voting both or i couldn’t live with myself so fek Arlene LOL its now up Sinn Feinn. Well anyway i am taking my old arthritic body to bed nite nite.

  • mickfealty

    Just read the rules Stephen and you’ll be fine.

  • the keep

    Don’t waste your time with Stephen he is one of Jude Collins least intelligent followers which is no mean feat.

  • Thomas Girvan

    All that and dyslexia too.

  • Thomas Girvan

    I think that was tried before and it was a bit of balls up.
    Not exactly blue sky thinking!

  • Skibo

    Jeff we have had ten years since the SAA and no Irish Language Act even though it is in British legislation. How can the DUP continue to say that just because they did not agree to it, it cannot happen?
    Is this process of negotiations to renegotiate the previous position? If so what is the point? The DUP will just go back on what will be agreed if it does not suit them.
    I believe SF have to hold firm until the DUP say openly that what is agreed, is actually agreed and will be followed through. This needs to be made public and nut muttered under their breath to get the system up and limping along.

  • Skibo

    The previous talks were organised by Brokenshire and acknowledged by all to be a shambles. It is possibly time for the Irish Government to be more assertive and lead the negotiations and see if Brokenshire is just a follower.
    The question must also be asked of the DUP, are they going to continually use the POC to block equal marriage or will they allow a simple majority vote stand.
    Will they ensure that the British legislation in the SAA on the GFA stand and enact it to the full?
    The issue on red lines is there are two sides of a red line. The DUP are not saying officially that they have red lines, but do have issues that they are not prepared to agree. Is that not a red line?

  • Skibo

    What is a “decent Unionist”?
    Is a “demand” any worse than a denial?
    Should all parties not have demands?
    How can the Irish language Act be a silly demand when it has been passed in Westminster?
    How can equal marriage be a silly demand when is was voted on in the Assembly by a majority?

  • Hugh Davison

    Rather obvious and blatant man-playing there, keep

  • Hugh Davison

    See my comment to the keep.

  • the keep

    Sadly I am only being factual Hugh.

  • Thomas Girvan

    Yeah Shuey, but I have just won a prize from the Edinburgh festival joke contest.
    Boom Boom!

  • Jeff

    Your missing the point skibo, there are major problems in the NHS etc that need political leadership civil servants can only do so much. If your stating that at present a language act supersedes health, policing, infrastructure, etc I’ve got say you are 100% wrong. Sinn Fein need to get back to acting on behalf of the whole community particularly those in need and let a language act talks go on in parallel.

  • Skibo

    Jeff it is you who is missing the point. The ILA was put into legislation in Westminster over ten years ago and it is no further. The DUP close down any possibility of discussion. SF worked the system for ten years. They had agreed POG with the DUP also and the DUP were still able to renege on agreed policy, particularly on the Maze project.
    The went through an election process and promised the people thy would not return to the same old same old.
    They are upholding promises made to their electorate.
    As for the talks in paralled, there is no parallel lines with the DUP, merely sidelining.