Taoiseach to meet with political leaders in Belfast today

Taoiseach to meet with political leaders in Belfast today

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL Martin will today travel to Belfast to meet leaders of the five main parties of Northern Ireland.

The visit comes just three days after Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney made the same trip.

The talks are expected to focus on the Northern Ireland Protocol and efforts to restore power-sharing.

The assembly must resume by 28 October to avoid a fresh election being called. If it does not resume, the Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris must set an election date.

The last election was held in May, but the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has refused to vote for a new Speaker until their issues over the Northern Ireland Protocol are scrapped.

The Taoiseach will meet separately with Michelle O’Neill, SF; Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP; Naomi Long, Alliance; Colum Eastwood, SDLP; and Doug Beattie, UUP.

The programme will then conclude with a visit to meet with participants in programmes working with schools as catalysts for peace and reconciliation.