Northern Ireland powersharing talks expected to take step forward

Northern Ireland powersharing talks are expected to take a step forward on Friday.

The Press Association understands an announcement is set to be made in Belfast that would signal a fresh attempt to restore devolved administration at Stormont.

The announcement would come from Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

Karen Bradley and Simon Coveney
Karen Bradley and Simon Coveney (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Northern Ireland Office would neither confirm nor deny reports but a spokesman said it was longstanding policy to seek restoration of devolution as soon as possible.

The move follows the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Londonderry last week, which sparked calls for Sinn Fein and the DUP to go back into coalition.

Stormont was suspended in January 2017 and priest Father Martin Magill received a standing ovation at her funeral on Wednesday when he asked why it had taken her death to unite political parties.

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