The leader of Fianna Fáil, Micheál Martin, has said that the party agrees with the SDLP proposition that the suspension of the Petition Of Concern would be a basis for the immediate restoration of the Assembly and the Executive in Northern Ireland. 

Earlier this week, SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said reform of the Petition of Concern, which allows a veto on contentious legislation, was central to unlocking the Stormont impasse.

Mr Martin said an immediate commitment to a marriage equality referendum could be one way of breaking the logjam.

Speaking at his party's annual Easter Rising Commemoration at Arbour Hill in Dublin today, Mr Martin said that there is an urgent need for the restoration of politics in Northern Ireland.

Separately, Mr Martin said that it is time for full transparency from the Government in relation to the National Broadband Plan. 

Mr Martin was commenting on a report in today's Sunday Independent that the Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Robert Watt, has told the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe that they should abandon plans to bring high-speed broadband to almost every home and business in the country based on the €3bn cost. 

He said that Barry Cowen wrote last week to the Minister For Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe asking him to publish all advice within his Department in relation to the National Broadband Plan and its expenditure.

'It's heading towards being the most expensive broadband plan in the world at €3bn," Mr Martin said.

"I've already raised questions publicly with the Taoiseach if the consortium has the capacity to deliver the plan. Who will own the asset at the end of the 25 years?

"It's been a botched procurement exercise. I think it would have been far better if they had asked a State agency like the ESB to have got on with it a long time ago," he added.