Gerry Adams said Ian Paisley's DUP was 'on holiday'

The Democratic Unionists' terms for a devolution deal for Northern Ireland are unacceptable to republicans, Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams has warned.

Mr Adams said on Wednesday that the talks process was on hold because the DUP were "on holiday".

The political institutions have been suspended since October 2002 amid allegations of IRA intelligence gathering at the Northern Ireland Office.

The Sinn Fein president said the DUP showed "no sign whatsoever" of political will to reach a deal.

He dismissed the notion that republicans would be tested for a period of months before power-sharing could be resumed.

"I've made it very clear that the terms that the DUP have publicly expressed are not acceptable," he said.

"How could they be acceptable? We have just refreshed our mandate and we respect the DUP's mandate.

"The periods of decontamination, or of a verification or of being tested - all of that has long since passed."


Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern admitted the DUP's refusal to talk to Sinn Fein was causing difficulty, but he believed Northern Ireland's parties were "up for" a deal.

Mr Ahern added on Wednesday that he believed the DUP was prepared to work towards a consensus, and were "quite advanced" on his previous perception of the party.

In the Commons, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble challenged the government to close down the Stormont Assembly if no deal was reached in September's talks.

Mr Trimble said the government should make clear to those parties who he claimed had been "dragging their feet" that it will put in place alternative arrangements.

Northern Ireland Secretary Paul Murphy told Mr Trimble that the government understood the issues which have to be dealt with, and that it was right they should be decided in September.

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