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McGuinness warns rivals to 'put up or shut up'

Credit: Reuters

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has challenged political rivals making claims about Sinn Fein links to criminality to "put up or shut up".

It comes as cross-party talks got under way in Belfast to save the power sharing administration amid a crisis over an IRA-linked murder.

Sinn Fein's Mr McGuinness said: "Some parties within these negotiations are attempting to give the impression that there's linkage between a party in government - what they mean by that is Sinn Fein - and criminality.

"During the course of this morning's engagement I took those people to task. I told them if anybody has any information whatsoever about any party in government being involved in criminality that they should put it up on the table and, more importantly, they should put it to the PSNI.

"In other words I told them it is now time for them to put up or shut up."


DUP leader Peter Robinson discharged from hospital

Peter Robinson was admitted to hospital on Saturday after reacting to medication. Credit: PA

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader has been discharged from hospital.

Peter Robinson, 66, was admitted to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital on Saturday as a "precautionary measure" after reacting to medication.

A DUP spokesman said he would be fit enough to attend crucial talks to resolve the political crisis engulfing the powersharing political institutions at Stormont today.

He said: "Mr Robinson expresses his gratitude to the medical staff who treated him so professionally during his short stay in hospital and the ambulance staff who were the first responders."

Peter Robinson taken to hospital as a 'precaution'

Peter Robinson recently stepped down as Northern Ireland's First Minister over the ongoing political crisis. Credit: PA

Northern Ireland's DUP leader Peter Robinson has been admitted to hospital as a "precautionary measure" after reacting to medication.

The 66-year-old was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast after being taken ill yesterday.

A hospital spokesman said he was admitted "as a precautionary measure" and is now "comfortable and doing well".

It is believed he will be discharged from hospital soon.

It comes after weeks of turmoil sparked by the murder of former IRA man Kevin McGuigan last month resulting in Mr Robinson temporarily stepping aside.

Mr Robinson, who leads the Democratic Unionist Party, had a suspected heart attack in May.


Huge arms haul discovered in Northern Ireland raids

Map showing Ballymurphy Road in West Belfast Credit: Google Maps

Police in Northern Ireland have recovered a huge arms haul including explosives and guns.

Northern Ireland's Serious Crime Branch raided a property overnight in Ballymurphy Road in West Belfast.

The officers discovered:

  • More than half a kilo of Semtex explosive
  • Two handguns
  • More than 200 rounds of ammunition
  • Two detonators

A 38-year-old woman and a 67-year-old man arrested at the scene continue to be questioned at Antrim police station.

We are delighted to have removed these potentially lethal items from the streets of west Belfast... We will continue to work with the community to ensure we keep everyone safe.

– Detective Chief Inspector Gillian Kearney, from Serious Crime Branch

MPs warned Stormont is 'increasingly dysfunctional'

The political crisis in Northern Ireland is "very grave", NI Secretary Theresa Villiers has told the House of Commons - though she ruled out the suspension of assembly or a return to direct rule.

However, she warned, the UK government was willing to legislate for welfare reforms in the country from Westminster if parties cannot reach an agreement.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers updated the House of Commons today

Further talks will be held at Stormont in the coming days, she said, after DUP leader Peter Robinson announced that his party's ministers - with the exception of Finance Minister Arlene Foster - were resigning from the Northern Ireland Executive.

"A number of departments are left without ministerial leadership and relationships between the parties have almost completely broken down," Ms Villiers told MPs.

"That leaves the devolved institutions looking increasingly dysfunctional."

The mass resignations came after two murders which raised suspicions that the IRA was still active in the country.

DUP fail to attend Stormont meeting amid IRA row

Power-sharing at Stormont is under increased pressure as the political crisis continues. Credit: PA Wire

The Democratic Unionists (DUP) have failed to show up at the start of an Assembly meeting amid the ongoing power-sharing crisis in Northern Ireland.

Last week, First Minister Peter Robinson stepped aside and pulled most of his ministers from office after affirming that it will not be business as usual until a row over the IRA is resolved.

It came after nationalist parties said they would not support the DUP's proposal to adjourn power-sharing at the Assembly following a murder that police have linked to the Provisional IRA.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers is meeting with the main political parties in bid to help resolve the impasse.

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