April 26, 2019 / 1:44 PM / 25 days ago

Irish, British governments call new N.Ireland political talks

DUBLIN, April 26 (Reuters) - The British and Irish governments announced a resumption on Friday of talks to restore Northern Ireland’s devolved government, spurred into ending a hiatus in dialogue of more than a year by the killing of a journalist last week.

The British-run province has been without a devolved executive for over two years since Irish nationalists Sinn Fein withdrew from the compulsory power-sharing government with the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

But the shooting dead last week of 29-year-old reporter Lyra McKee during rioting by militant Irish nationalists has raised pressure on the parties from voters and the two governments to re-establish the regional government that is central to Northern Ireland’s 1998 peace agreement.

“In coming together with other political leaders in St Anne’s Cathedral to pay tribute to Lyra McKee, we gave expression to the clear will and determination of all of the people of these islands to reject violence and to support peace,” British Prime Minister Theresa May and Irish premier Leo Varadkar said in a joint statement.

“We also heard the unmistakable message to all political leaders that people across Northern Ireland want to see a new momentum for political progress. We agree that what is now needed is actions and not just words from all of us who are in positions of leadership. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Kate Holton)

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