“The balance underpinning this place is that Nationalism and Unionism must work together…”

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood on the breakdown of the talks…

“For 13 months the public have been without a government, without any change and without any power. Despite interventions from the SDLP, the DUP and Sinn Féin have kept people here entirely in the dark.

It appears this negotiation has now failed.

There is only one way through which the public can judge this failure – the details of this deal must now be published.

As the party most centrally involved in coming to the accommodation that was the Good Friday Agreement, as its leader I want to make clear that this is a dangerous and difficult moment for the future of this part of Ireland.

After years of trying to bridge our deep historical differences, we are in danger of retreating from each other once more.

This is a failed negotiation which now threatens to hand power to a Tory/DUP Government. The SDLP is clear that this cannot be allowed to happen.

The balance underpinning this place is that Nationalism and Unionism must work together. That’s a reality that some still fail to face. We need to get back to the spirit envisaged by the Good Friday Agreement, that both traditions on our island are accommodated and respected.

The absence of a devolved institution means that the Irish and British Governments need to establish the Intergovernmental Conference so that all that we built up in our peace process is not lost.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

Living History 1968-74

A unique, once-in-a-lifetime 10-week course at Stranmillis University College Belfast featuring live, in-depth interviews with leading figures from this tumultuous era in Northern Ireland’s cultural and political history.

Live interviews with: Bernadette McAliskey, Austin Currie, Brid Rogers, Baroness Blood, Dennis Bradley, Baroness Paisley, Lord Kilclooney, Tim McGarry, Danny Morrison, Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and others…

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