Calls for governments to "inject momentum" into Stormont talks as deadline looms

Minister Coveney said a "very late night" can be expected as talks continue ahead of tomorrow's deadline

Calls for governments to "inject momentum" into Stormont talks as deadline looms

Locked gates at Stormont in Belfast as talks aimed at restoring powersharing in Northern Ireland continue. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

Sinn Féin has called on the British and Irish governments to 'inject momentum' into talks to form a new power-sharing executive in the North.

The major parties have until tomorrow afternoon to elect ministers and save the institutions.

If the parties do not reach a deal before 4pm tomorrow, Northern Ireland could face a return to direct rule from the UK.

In a statement this evening, Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd said: “The DUP have not moved to address the issues of rights, equality and respect which caused the collapse of the Assembly in January. The DUP knows what needs to be done.

“There is an onus on the two governments to inject the necessary urgency and momentum to bring this negotiation to a successful conclusion.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and the UK's Northern Secretary James Brokenshire have been in Belfast in recent days to help facilitate talks.

This evening, Minister Coveney said a "very late night" can be expected as parties attempt to reach an agreement.

It is understood Sinn Féin and the DUP today held talks with each other over the issue of an Irish language act, one of the reportedly contentious issues in talks.

Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann, however, suggests there are bigger issues to focus on as the deadline looms.