Taoiseach ‘anxious’ window closed on Anglo-Irish relations

A new UK Prime Minister offers a chance to ‘reset’ the fractured UK-Ireland relationship, the Taoiseach says

Micheal Martin said he was “worried” that a window of opportunity is opening to repair relations between the two governments.

Mr Martin made the comments at the Anglo-Irish Association conference in Oxford, just days before the Conservative Party announced its new leader.

Micheal Martin said he was “worried” that a window of opportunity is opening to repair relations between the two governments.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is widely expected to defeat Rishi Sunak and become the new British Prime Minister.

Mr Martin told RTE: “We are very concerned that a window of opportunity is opening, the election of a new UK Prime Minister and a new government presents an opportunity to reset Anglo-Irish relations. as well as relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom in the context of the protocol.

“The spirit in which we approach next week and beyond is constructive. We believe the breadth and depth of the UK-Ireland relationship is such that it is imperative for all of us to work constructively together.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is widely expected to defeat Rishi Sunak and become the new British Prime Minister. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

“We are ready to do that and also in the context of Northern Ireland, in terms of resolving protocol issues.”

Mr Martin also said the election result in Northern Ireland should be honored.

Stormont’s last Assembly elections were held in May, when Sinn Fein became the largest party. However, several attempts to elect a new President Stormont have since failed.

“The people of Northern Ireland have given their politicians a mandate,” Mr Martin added.

“We are going through unprecedented increases in energy prices on the island of Ireland.

“The politicians of Northern Ireland have a responsibility and an obligation to respond to this with the resources at their disposal.

“The most effective way to do that then is to restore the executive and the assembly, that’s what we want to see first.”

“We should avoid the need for new elections and should use the next few weeks, seizing this opportunity through the EU-UK dialogue, to resolve the issues with the operation of the protocol.”

Earlier this summer, Ms Truss’ mispronunciation of the word ‘Taoiseach’ went viral after an interview about Northern Ireland’s failure to follow protocol.