Deal reached for Northern Ireland talks after Lyra McKee's funeral

Deal reached for Northern Ireland talks after Lyra McKee's funeral

The Stormont Assembly building in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Friday, April 26, 2019

An agreement has been reached to establish a new round of talks between the main parties in Northern Ireland, it has been announced. 

Northern Ireland has been without a devolved government since January 2017, and talks are set to take place following local elections. 

In a joint statement, Theresa May and Irish Premier Leo Varadkar said that the leaders wanted to see “political progress” following the funeral of Lyra McKee in Belfast on Wednesday.

The journalist was killed by indiscriminate fire as she observed clashes between police and New IRA dissidents on the Creggan estate in Londonderry on April 18.

The service of thanksgiving was held in the Church of Ireland's St Anne's Cathedral, a short distance from her north Belfast home.

Theresa May and Leo Varadkar at Lyra McKee's funeral in Belfast on Wednesday. 

In the statement, they wrote: “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 and a better future for everyone in Northern Ireland.

"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.”

They added that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and Ireland’s Simon Coveney would meet in Belfast later on Friday to set out a proposal for the talks.

The statement added: “We understand the complexity of the underlying concerns of all parties, and the need for renewed trust, mutual respect, generosity and new thinking to resolve the issues.

"As Prime Minister and Taoiseach, we are determined to work together to ensure this process comes to a successful conclusion.

"We will review progress at the end of May."

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