A Sinn Féin delegation has been meeting Government officials for detailed discussions on the proposals to restore devolution in Northern Ireland.  

The delegation led by Gerry Adams was taken through the details of the proposals by senior officials from the Departments of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs.  

Afterwards, Mr Adams said his party has 'issues of concern', and that any 'proposals for forward movement must be firmly grounded in the Good Friday Agreement'.

Earlier, the SDLP leader, Mark Durkan, said his party still has serious misgivings over the deal on offer to restore Northern Ireland's political institutions.

Mr Durkan said the deal by the Irish and British governments involved a number of changes to the Good Friday Agreement. He was speaking after talks with Dermot Ahern.

Mr Durkan said he believed Dr Ian Paisley's DUP was getting too much and giving too little.

The British Prime Minister told the House of Commons that he hoped progress could be made in discussions between the Northern Ireland parties and the two governments.

Tony Blair said that, provided paramilitary violence was at an end, there was no reason why unionists should not sit in an executive with republicans.

Mr Blair was replying to a parliamentary question from Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble who urged him to ‘get a grip’ on the ongoing negotiations and ‘stop the drift’.

Parties to consider NI power-sharing formula

The parties are expected to spend several days considering the proposals before giving their formal responses.

The two governments have spent several months trying to work out a way of putting the two most successful parties in last year's Assembly elections, at the centre of a power-sharing Stormont administration.

The proposals they have come up with seek to address the problems that were not solved at all-party talks in Kent two months ago.

The governments will spell out what the IRA must do to prove its campaign is over, and the commitments the DUP must make to show it is prepared to share power.

It is expected to be next week before Sinn Féin and the DUP formally indicate if they are backing the initiative by Mr Ahern and Mr Blair.