Irish PM Enda Kenny warns Theresa May over deal talks with DUP

Nick Mcbride
June 12, 2017

With the SDLP having lost all three seats, the Ulster Unionists shedding at least one of its two and the Alliance party failing to make the inroads it predicted, the two main parties have solidified their pre-eminence.

That part of the United Kingdom that is Northern Ireland now looks like two countries with the south, south west and west of the six counties entirely in the hands of Sinn Féin, and the area east of the Bann entirely under the control of the DUP.

Mr Paterson said the two parties had much in common and there was no reason why talented politicians from Northern Ireland should not "rise to the top" of United Kingdom politics following the Belfast agreement, as Republicans such as Gerry Adams had done in Ireland.

The biggest shock of the night came in Londonderry where Sinn Fein captured the SDLP citadel of Foyle, the seat of former leader John Hume.

The Prime Minister reiterated that the Government's approach and objectives in the forthcoming talks to re-establish the Northern Ireland Executive remained unchanged.

The DUP's share could help close the gap for the Conservatives - suggesting that Arlene Foster's party could serve as "kingmaker" as Theresa May scrambles to form a coalition and hold onto power.

The DUP and Sinn Féin both strengthened their Westminster representation, returning 10 and seven MPs respectively. "I think people have responded very well to the message that we brought them about a positive vision for the union, and voting for candidates who would stand up for Northern Ireland in Westminster".

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams made clear there was "no danger whatsoever" of his party ditching its abstentionist policy, even if its seats become crucial in the final reckoning.

The MP, a staunch supporter of Brexit, said the most pressing matter was the imminent negotiations with the EU.

Her party colleague Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who romped home in Lagan Valley, said the DUP was willing to talk with the Conservatives in the event of a hung parliament.

Mr Adams also said he could not see Prime Minister Theresa May surviving in her post.

He credited Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with fighting a good campaign despite "media bias".

Other reports by VgToday

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