Michelle O'Neill believes the Executive can be restored

Image caption,
Michelle O'Neill said she is hopeful that the Stormont Assembly can be restored

Sinn Féin's Stormont leader said she is hopeful that the institutions at Stormont can be restored.

Speaking to BBC's Sunday Politics Michelle O'Neill said she "wants to give hope to people" that a solution to the current deadlock can be found.

Northern Ireland's devolved government collapsed in January.

The Sinn Féin MLA said: "I believe this can be done, but it can only be done if there is political will there."

Michelle O'Neill said the failure of not restoring the Executive "firmly falls at the feet of the DUP."

"At the heart of the Good Friday Agreement was mutual respect and parity of esteem and that was a principle which the DUP have failed to take on board and look after all the citizens we're elected to look after.

"They've continued to block people's rights, whether than be marriage rights, legacy inquest rights, whether that be language rights," she added.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Stormont has remained largely empty since the Assembly election in March

Northern Ireland has been without a functioning devolved government since January, when the coalition led by the two biggest parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin, collapsed over a botched green energy scheme.

The late deputy first minister, Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness, stood down in protest against the DUP's handling of an investigation into the scandal, in a move that triggered a snap election in March.