Sinn Féin leaders have said they will not agree to the cuts planned by the British government to public spending in Northern Ireland.

Sinn Féin representatives congregated at a hotel in Dublin today to discuss the budget crisis in the North.

Speaking on his way into the meeting,  Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he was not prepared to implement what he called the austerity agenda proposed by the British government.

He said his conscience would not allow him to do it.

He said the Northern Ireland was a special case as it is a society emerging from conflict and it is not the same as Scotland, Wales or the North of England.

He added that situation in the North was very grave and the British government should not damage the Good Friday Agreement by taking back powers reserved for the executive.

He said that he would be trying to rally forces in Dublin and the United States to make it clear that this approach would be folly of the worst kind.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said the DUP did not stand on a  pro-Austerity ticket in the recent elections and that no one in the Stormont Executive had a mandate for austerity.

He said that for the DUP to suggest that powers be given back to the British to allow them to punish the DUP's supporters is not acceptable.

NI first minister recuperating after heart surgery

The Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson has made his first public appearance since he was rushed to hospital last Monday after suffering a suspected heart attack. 

Mr Robinson, this morning, visited the Irish Open Golf tournament in Newcastle Co Down and said he was feeling well. 

Mr Robinson revealed that he had had three stents inserted during a cardiac procedure in hospital.

He said his doctors had advised him to take several weeks off to recuperate. 

The first minister said he planned to attend talks involving the Stormont party leaders and the British and Irish Government in Belfast next Tuesday.