Sinn Féin President, Mary Lou McDonald, has ramped-up pressure on the British and Irish governments demanding they commit to taking action should the resumed all party talks in Northern Ireland fail. 

Speaking in Dublin, Ms McDonald said: "The current situation of [political] stalement is unacceptable. It's simply intolerable at this point. So something has to happen."

She said Sinn Féin negotiators would approach the talks with "hope and positivity", adding: "This can be done. These issues have answers. We can get there." 

However, Ms McDonald asserted that the governments had "raised the stakes" by calling the talks and had obligations if they failed: "The two governments cannot throw up their hands and walk away. The two governments, at that stage, have to do the lifting because these issues have to be resolved."

The Sinn Féin leader cited marriage equality and language rights as some of the stumbling blocks to agreement, and said: "In the event we cannot solve these equality issues, then the two governments will have to intervene."

She described the political backdrop to the talks, with elections in Northern Ireland and the Republic, as "a challenging time" but asserted that politicians "cannot stand still." 

Referencing the recent murder of Lyra McKee, Ms McDonald said: "This round of talks is so important. Because the last thing we want to do is to send a negative message - another message of political failure to all of those young people."

She criticised the governments for leaving people in Northern Ireland with "a sense of disengagement" from the political process in recent years, but said they would not have to act  "... if the DUP cannot move to a place of equality."

Meanwhile, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has called on the DUP and Sinn Féin to be generous and make a few concessions in order to get the Stormont institutions back up and running.

He said: "The Tánaiste and I spoke last night. We are very keen to have the talks up and running next week. I suppose rather than focusing on what happens if they fail. We would like people to focus on making them a success.

"That really requires all the parties and particularly the two largest parties - the DUP and Sinn Féin - making progress, being generous and even making a few concessions. That will allow us get the power sharing institutions back up and running."

Mr Varadkar added: "We had the appalling tragedy of a young journalist killed on Good Friday and all of us want something good to come out of that but we really need the parties to get on board."