Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (55)

Micheál Martin

Question:

55. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he has spoken to Prime Minister May since the murder of a person (details supplied); and if he discussed preparations regarding the structures and substance of the talks to commence shortly. [19816/19]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

I spoke with Prime Minister May on 24th April when we both attended the funeral of Ms Lyra McKee, in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. In coming together with other political leaders we paid tribute to Lyra McKee and gave expression to the clear will and determination of all of the people of these islands to reject violence and to support peace and a better future for everyone in Northern Ireland. We also heard the unmistakable message to all political leaders that people across Northern Ireland want to see a new momentum for political progress.

The Prime Minister and I agreed to initiate a new round of political talks, involving all the main political parties in Northern Ireland, together with the UK and Irish Governments. The aim of these talks is to re-establish to full operation the democratic institutions of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement - the NI Executive, Assembly and North-South Ministerial Council - so that they can effectively serve all of the people for the future. This talks process started on 7 May in Stormont, led by Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD, and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley.

We also agreed that a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference would take place in London on 8 May. The BIIGC will consider East/West relations, security cooperation, and political stability in Northern Ireland.

As Taoiseach and Prime Minister, we have agreed to review progress at the end of May.