Irish Taoiseach 'reassured' over Tory-DUP deal

Michelle O’Neill Gerry Adams Mary Lou Mc Donald and Elisha Mc Callion of Sinn Fein

It is a week since DUP leader Arlene Foster visited Downing Street for talks with Theresa May, with reports that a final agreement is being held up by discussions over extra funding for Northern Ireland.

She said: "We want to see an administration set up again that will last and one that will last for all of the people of Northern Ireland".

Her comments follow warnings by the nationalist parties, Sinn Fein and the SDLP, and the cross-community Alliance Party, that a deal with the DUP would undermine the Government's attempts to restore the power-sharing executive at Stormont.

Mr Coveney said he would highlight the particular issues facing Northern Ireland - in regard to the peace process and cross-border movement - when he met the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Luxembourg today.

The intervention comes after Brexit Secretary David Davis was seen to have been dealt a blow in the opening day of withdrawal negotiations with the European Union, after it was agreed trade deal talks would not begin until October at the earliest.

Mr Williamson said of the upcoming Brexit negotiations: "Labour has attempted to block the wishes of the British people every step of the way".

Varadkar said he would emphasize to May the British and Irish governments must remain impartial in Northern Ireland, as stipulated by the Good Friday Agreement.

The institutions collapsed amid a bitter row between the DUP and Sinn Féin about a botched green energy scheme.

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The UK Government has warned that direct rule from London could be reimposed if the local parties fail to reach an agreement before the June 29 deadline.

In March's assembly elections in Northern Ireland, the unionists emerged for the first time ever without a majority, with the pro-republican Sinn Fein making massive gains.

"I'm a Northern Ireland native journalist and can't find full time paid work, but someone at Sky News Australia thinks Sinn Fein is a person", wrote Twitter user Aoife-Grace Moore.

While there may be a political border between the two countries, there should be no economic border, he said.

Senior DUP representative and former Stormont minister Simon Hamilton also struck a positive tone during a day that saw the first round table plenary session of a talks process that started last week.

A deal, he will say, like no other in history. "We do believe we are getting traction and we are going to continue in that vein", she said.

"We have got some days until we have a vote on the Queen's Speech".

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