Taoiseach meeting with Boris Johnson today to discuss Northern Ireland pandemic response

Taoiseach meeting with Boris Johnson today to discuss Northern Ireland pandemic response

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin is meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson today to discuss Northern Ireland and the overall pandemic response for the island.

Martin will travel to Chequers - the country estate of British Prime Ministers in Buckinghamshire - where he and Mr Johnson will discuss a range of issues including Covid-19,  stability in Northern Ireland and Anglo-Irish relations in general.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the impact of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, which has sparked political division across the island of Ireland.

Greater co-operation on Covid-19 measures is likely to be on the agenda, amid growing optimism that restrictions within the common travel area could be lifted during the summer.

This would likely be a first step in the resumption of international travel.

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - AUGUST 13: Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and Taoiseach Micheal Martin greet each other with an elbow bump at Hillsborough Castle during the Prime Minister's visit to Belfast on August 13, 2020 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo by Brian Lawless - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Earlier this week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar hinted that all restrictions around travel between the UK and Ireland could be lifted over the coming weeks.

It's also understood that the two will discuss the Ballymurphy inquest, mere days after Mr Johnson's controversial apology on the matter.

The Government has reiterated its position that it stands in solidarity with the relatives of the ten innocent people killed in Ballymurphy in 1971.

Earlier this week, the UK Prime Minister apologised "unreservedly" on behalf of the British government, but the apology wasn't accepted by the victims' families - largely due to the fact that he did so while on a phone call to First Minister Arlene Foster, rather than in front of a camera or microphone.