Northern Ireland to get devolved government back after three-year gap


FILE PHOTO: Sinn Fein’s John Finucane, the winning candidate in the Belfast North seat, with Party Vice President Michelle O’Neill and President Mary Lou McDonald, celebrates at the count centre, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, Northern Ireland December 13, 2019. REUTERS/Lorraine O’Sullivan

BELFAST (Reuters) – The two main Irish nationalist and pro-British unionist parties in Northern Ireland agreed on Friday to return to devolved government for the first time in three years.

Sinn Fein, the largest nationalist party, followed their rivals in the Democratic Unionist Party in backing a draft deal brokered by the Irish and British governments to end the assembly’s longest suspension in 13 years.

“The Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle (party leadership) has met today and decided to re-enter the power sharing institutions. We now have a basis for power sharing and we’re up for that,” Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald told a news conference.

Reporting by Ian Graham, writing by Padraic Halpin, Editing by Catherine Evans

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