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  1. ITV Report

Stormont power-sharing talks: No deal by Monday, says Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams

Northern Ireland's institutions imploded in January when DUP leader Arlene Foster was forced from office. Credit: AP

A deal to restore power-sharing at Stormont will not be struck by Monday, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams has predicted.

He said the door was still open but there had been no sense of urgency around piecing together an agreement.

A series of deadlines have been missed to restore multi-party devolved government in Northern Ireland.

Mr Adams said: "I don't believe that there is going to be a deal by Monday.

"The DUP are showing no urgency or no real inclination to deal with the rights-based issues which are at the crux and the heart of these difficulties which we are talking here about."

He said those included republican demands for an Irish Language Act, a Bill of Rights, marriage equality and dealing with the legacy of decades of past violence.

"Unless they step-change I just cannot see, here we are on Saturday afternoon, I just cannot see how, and we told them this directly, how a deal can be put together by then."

Sinn Feins Michelle O'Neill and Gerry Adams lead their party delegation at Stormont Castle in Belfast as political talks continue to resurrect the Stormont Assembly. Credit: PA

In the absence of agreement, Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire could set another deadline for the talks process, call a second snap Assembly election or re-impose some form of direct rule from London.

Northern Ireland's institutions imploded in January when DUP leader Arlene Foster was forced from office after Sinn Fein's then deputy first minister, the late Martin McGuinness, quit.

That was in protest at the DUP's handling of the renewable heat incentive (RHI), a scheme that left the administration facing a £490 million overspend. His move triggered a snap Assembly election in March.

Should a deal materialise over the weekend, the Government could pass legislation to retrospectively change Thursday's missed deadline to enable a new executive to be formed without recourse to another election.