Published Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Sinn Féin told UTV the invite to éirígí for face-to-face talks still stands. (© Pacemaker)
Éirígí - which fielded candidates in the 2011 local government elections in Northern Ireland, but does not currently have any elected representatives - has instead proposed public debates with Sinn Féin.
Spokesman Breandán MacCionnaith claimed that the two parties' differences were too great to find a common ground, but that the debates would "engender widespread support and public interest".
But according to Sinn Féin, éirígí had initially responded to engagement by the party.
We would still invite éirígí into face to face discussions.
"We had written to éirígí on the same basis as we have engaged with others. Éirígí had responded seeking assurances that any contact would be private," a spokesman told UTV.
"These assurances were given to them. They have now responded through the media declining this approach and that is their right."
Mr MacCionnaith had hit out at Sinn Féin over the party's strategy, which he claims "advocates the de facto acceptance of partition and British interference in Irish affairs while also acting as administrators of British political, social and economic rule".
He also criticised attempts to label "all opponents of their political strategy" as dissident republicans and insisted that efforts to engage his party were "clear acknowledgement" of its legitimacy.
We in éirígí have sufficient confidence in our political views to openly debate and defend them in public. We hope that others do also.
According to Sinn Féin, the seeking of dialogue with various branches of republicanism - "some in other political groupings and many involved in none" - is ongoing and will continue.
"For our part, we have in the past and will again in the future appear on public platforms for debate with éirígí members," the spokesman said.
"We have no issue defending publicly our strategy for Irish reunification and, in particular, challenging those who continue to put forward the proposition that constitutional change will be achieved through armed actions. Indeed we do it every day of the week."
He added: "However, that is not the same thing as a process of dialogue about the future of Ireland - which we had hoped they would have the confidence to engage in."
© UTV News