Martin urges the DUP to restore power sharing in Stormont before the election deadline

The Irish premier has asked the DUP to “honor” the mandate of the people of Northern Ireland by helping to restore Stormont’s institutions as the electoral deadline looms.

Michael Martin said it does not appear that the government devolved to Stormont will be restored by Friday’s deadline.

The Taoiseach added that it is “unsatisfactory” that power-sharing institutions do not work.

There is less than a week to form a Stormont executive before Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris is required by law to call a new assembly election.

Chris Heaton-Harris (Brian Lawless / PA)

The DUP refuses to appoint ministers to form a new executive until the Westminster government takes decisive action on the Northern Ireland protocol.

They argue that post-Brexit deals hinder trade and set a border in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the annual Fianna Fail dinner in Dublin on Saturday, the Taoiseach said: “From the meetings I had on Monday there does not appear to be any likelihood that the executive or assembly will be reinstated by the deadline.

“The British government is adamant and the outgoing government has been adamant that there will be elections. Over the next few days, we will be engaging with UK government ministers to keep up with the situation.

“In the meantime I would tell the DUP that they should participate in the assembly and should contribute to the restoration of the executive because otherwise we deny democracy, we deny the mandate that the Northern Irish people have given to their elected representatives to form a parliament and to form the executive”.

The leader of Fianna Fail said there was too much “stop-start” with the Stormont institutions.

“It is never satisfactory, in my opinion, that the assembly or the executive is not established after the elections, and I think that, historically, we have had too many stop-starts with the assembly and with the executive in different periods , and that’s just not good enough, ”he said.

“I think people are getting more and more annoyed by this. And I would say – in particular to the DUP in this case, because the other political parties want the executive and the assembly to be restored – I would say to the DUP to honor the democratic mandate it has been given ”.

Asked about the prospects of forming an executive before Friday, and reportedly Boris Johnson will get the 100 nominations needed to enter the competition to become the next Conservative leader, Martin said, “I don’t know and I won’t interfere in the contention within the British Conservative Party over who becomes their leader, or even who becomes the next British Prime Minister.

“I think stability is important with regard to relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, British-Irish relations and, of course, political stability in Northern Ireland.”

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