Taoiseach meets new DUP leader

The Taoiseach and the new DUP leader held talks in Government buildings last night.

In a statement afterwards, the Taoiseach's office said the pair had had an "open exchange of views across issues including: political developments, Covid, North-South cooperation, and the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Prior to last night's first ever meeting between the two men, new DUP leader Edwin Poots described relations between the two governments as their worst ever.

But he pointedly added that was not due to the current Taoiseach.... but to the past Taoiseach.

Micheal Martin said the focus now needs to be on getting issues resolved and on reducing friction where possible.

He added that an obvious way to do this was to reach agreement between the EU and UK on a temporary veterinary agreement - which would do away with 80% of checks at Northern Ireland ports.

The statement also said it was important to highlight the critical importance of the stability and good functioning of the Northern Ireland Executive and all the Institutions of the Good Friday Agreement.

The two leaders have agreed to remain in touch over the coming period.