July 4, 2017 / 4:04 PM / 4 months ago

Sinn Fein blames May for Northern Ireland talks failure

BELFAST (Reuters) - Northern Ireland’s largest Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein on Tuesday blamed a deal between the rival Democratic Unionist Party and Prime Minister Theresa May for the failure of talks to form a new power-sharing executive in the region.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, Britain June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The talks, which have been proceeding intermittently since a March election in the province, broke down on Tuesday with Sinn Fein saying the DUP was refusing to accept legitimate demands of Irish nationalists such as official recognition of the status of the Irish language.

The head of Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland Michelle O‘Neill said the agreement last month by the DUP’s 10 members of parliament in London to support May’s Conservative Party had emboldened the DUP and had contributed to the failure.

“What this constitutes is a monumental failure on behalf of Theresa May,” O‘Neill told journalists. “She has set back decades of work that has been done here throughout the years.”

Reporting by Ian Graham. Writing by Conor Humphries. Editing by Andrew MacAskill

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