Taoiseach says it is ‘unacceptable’ for the DUP to block the return of the Northern Ireland assembly


Taoiseach Micheál Martin said it was “unacceptable” that the DUP prevented the convening of a parliament.

r Martin met Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill in Dublin today, who is poised to become First Minister as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson amid the political deadlock on post-Brexit arrangements in the region holds talks with parties in Northern Ireland led.

Mr Martin called for “substantive talks” between the UK and the EU as the DUP refuses to join a new power-sharing government unless there are significant changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“The idea that a parliament is now being prevented from convening is very difficult to understand,” he said.

“The people have spoken, the people have elected their representatives, and at least it seems to me that an assembly should be set up.

“It is truly unacceptable that efforts have been made to prevent the convening of a democratically elected assembly or parliament.”

The Taoiseach spoke to European Council President Charles Michel over the phone today where they discussed the recent elections in Northern Ireland.

“We all agree that the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement should be established,” he said.

He also said that US President Joe Biden has made it clear that if there is a need for support, he is “just a phone call away” and that he supports the Good Friday Agreement.

The Taoiseach also said the issues of health, housing and the cost of living, which the people of Northern Ireland voted on, will not now be addressed.

He did not rule out face-to-face talks between himself and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but said substantive talks between London and Brussels would have to take place “in the first instance”.

Mr Martin stressed the role that the government can play as a mediator in the talks between the two sides.

He also spoke of “dismay” at the idea that Britain could take unilateral action on the Northern Ireland Protocol, adding that Mr Johnson had raised “important” points in an article for the Belfast Telegraph.

In the article, Mr Johnson said the UK will have “action to take” if the EU is unwilling to reach a compromise in the deepening row over the protocol.

However, he stressed that the government remains open to a “real dialogue” with the European Commission.

He said the protocol was negotiated in “good faith”, adding that “rather than seeking changes, those who want to scrap the protocol are focusing on the wrong thing”.

Mr Martin said: “He accepts that a protocol is required. He’s not talking about getting rid of the protocol.

“But at the end of the day, this can only be resolved through factual discussions.” Taoiseach says it is ‘unacceptable’ for the DUP to block the return of the Northern Ireland assembly

Fry Electronics Team

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