Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Anglo-Irish Talks.

1.

asked the Taoiseach if he will make a statement on the present state of the Anglo-Irish talks.

As the Government's agreed programme indicates, we will continue the current Anglo-Irish talks and studies aimed at achieving peace and reconciliation and at improving the relations between the peoples of Ireland and Britain. It will, however, be my aim in any further discussions in which I am involved to seek ways of eliminating distrust surrounding the talks.

Has any progress been made or have any discussions taken place under this Anglo-Irish studies set-up which was initiated at Christmas? In present circumstances should we be willing participators in any such operation in view of the intransigent attitude of the British Premier in regard to the hunger strike?

These discussions are taking place at civil service level, as the Deputy will be aware, and they will continue with a view to preparing the ground for discussions at ministerial level later. There is no ministerial meeting in prospect at present and no arrangements have been made for one.