Coveney confident ’heavy lifting’ on restoring northern institutions will will be done by tomorrow

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said he is hopeful "the heavy lifting" with regard to restoring devolved governance in the North will be done by tomorrow evening.

Mr Coveney is leading the talks alongside Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire.

"There are some big political issues to be addressed.

"If we are going to get that done, both parties need to be willing to move towards each other’s position to try to accommodate each other."

He added: "There are political choices to be made."

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams this evening said that powersharing at Stormont is the only fair way to distribute money from the DUP’s deal with the Conservatives.

The windfall in exchange for the Northern Ireland party’s support includes £1 billion of new funding for infrastructure and health spending, along with enhanced flexibility on almost £500 million of previously allocated cash.

If negotiators miss Thursday’s deadline for a new agreement to restore devolved government, they face the prospect of direct rule being reimposed from Westminster after months of talks failed to break the impasse.

Mr Adams said any extra money for Northern Ireland is a good thing, adding: "We may be able to say well done Arlene, when we have the Executive in place."

Mr Adams said it was always better to have a ministerial Executive in place.

"The only fair way to get whatever resources come to this place, the only forum or the only decision-making body that can do it in a fair way is the Executive."


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