AN TAOISEACH Enda Kenny is today encouraging the SDLP to bow to the DUP’s demands and call a halt to the Northern Ireland Executive until the current crisis is resolved.
The Fine Gael leader is meeting with the republican Social Democrat and Labour Party in Stormont to encourage the party to adjourn the NIE.
Pressure is mounting on smaller government parties in the North of Ireland to pull out of the Executive, as the political instability reaches crisis point.
The North of Ireland’s biggest party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), has threatened to resign from the government – which would mean the NIE would effectively collapse.
Sinn Féin, the second biggest party in Stormont, is at the centre of the political fallout.
Following revelations by the PSNI that the Provisional IRA may have been involved in the murder of prominent republican Kevin McGuigan last month, questions arose over the party’s past involvement with the organisation.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams strongly denied that the PIRA is still in existence, saying: “The war is over."
The PIRA officially laid down their arms in 2005 – and the PSNI revelations that they believe the organisation still exists was the first official acknowledgement that they were still active.
SDLP representatives have travelled to Dublin, where they will meet with An Taoiseach to discuss the possible collapse of the government in the North.
With the DUP in favour of stalling the day-to-day running of the NIE and Sinn Féin against it, the stance of smaller parties like the SDLP and Alliance will be crucial to the future of the devolved parliament.
The meeting between an Taoiseach and the SDLP is expected to continue into the afternoon.