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Tánaiste hails decision by DUP to return to Stormont

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has hailed the decision by the DUP to back a deal that will see a return of the Stormont Assembly.

Late last night, DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson said his party had backed a decision to return to power-sharing at Stormont providing the British government delivers promised legislation to reduce the impact of post-Brexit trade rules.

Mr Martin posted on X: “I welcome last night’s decision by the DUP.

“The imminent return of the Assembly and Executive is good news for the people of Northern Ireland, and the Good Friday Agreement.

“I look forward to working with the Executive and Assembly in the time ahead.”

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said she was optimistic that devolution will be restored before a legal deadline of 8 February.

“It is vital there is political stability to address the scale of the crisis across our public services,” she said.

“Let’s now focus minds on the job at hand and to the solutions required to support workers and families who want and deserve functioning government.”

Alliance party member and MLA for North Belfast Nuala McAllister said one word describes the decision by the DUP to return to power-sharing and that is “finally”.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, she said: “There’s been a lot of damage done over the last two years because of the DUP’s boycott.

“Our public services are crumbling. Our economy has so many missed opportunities, other areas, such as the environment and education have been scarred. There’s a lot of work to do.

“It’s important that we get stuck right into it and that we ensure that the financial package that has been on offer from the UK government is taken on board, but also that we secure that additional financial package from the UK government so that we can have our sustainable finances.”

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