UK prime minister meets Irish Taoiseach to discuss Northern Ireland
Leaders also discuss post-Brexit trading arrangements
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin on Friday to discuss post-Brexit trading arrangements and Northern Ireland.
The pair met at the UK prime minister’s countryside retreat, Chequers, amid persistent problems in the application of the Brexit agreement’s Northern Ireland protocol.
It angered Northern Ireland’s unionist community and boiled over into violence in the region last month.
Northern Irish nationalists are also angered about a recent report that admitted that 10 people killed in August 1971 in Ballymurphy, west
Belfast, by British soldiers, were “entirely innocent.”
Johnson wrote letters to the families of the massacre to express sorrow for the “terrible hurt that has been caused.”
But the families have publicly said they were angered by the letter, which they branded “unacceptable” because Johnson did not describe
the shootings as a “massacre.”
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The leaders reflected on the Coroner's report into the Ballymurphy massacre published this week.
They agreed it was profoundly sad that the families of victims had to wait so long for the truth.
“The Prime Minister restated the UK Government's commitment to finding a way forward in Northern Ireland that delivers for victims, aids
truth recovery and helps communities in the future.
“They agreed on the importance of working together to uphold the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and to maintain smooth trade between
Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“The leaders resolved to continue to work together in our fight against coronavirus and to closely share information in order to
enable a better recovery.”
Martin tweeted after the meeting: “Wide-ranging & constructive discussions with Boris Johnson today on British-Irish relations,
including the long struggle for justice by the Ballymurphy families.
“We also reaffirmed both governments’ commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and its institutions.”
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