Irish premier Leo Varadkar has said he will speak to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about the agreement between the British government and the DUP after the unionist party backed a deal aimed at addressing its concerns over post-Brexit trade barriers.
Mr Varadkar said he has not yet seen the fine details of what has been agreed between the DUP and the British government that will pave the way to restoration of the powersharing institutions.
DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said he would drop the blockade on devolution at Stormont once the Government implemented the various legislative assurances and other measures it has offered his party.
Speaking on his way into Cabinet on Tuesday morning, Mr Varadkar said: “I hope to speak to the Prime Minister later on today to discuss matters a little bit further.
“I should say that while there have been consultations between the European Commission, the Irish government and the British government from the last number of months, we haven’t seen the fine detail of what’s been agreed just yet.
“So obviously we’ll need to see that and and be confident that it doesn’t have any negative consequences for the Windsor Framework or for the Good Friday Agreement.
“I don’t anticipate that it does but we have to see the exact detail of that first.”
He also said the DUP’s decision to back the deal to address the party’s post-Brexit concerns is “really important”.
“At the outset, I want to welcome the news from Co Down that came in the early hours of this morning, news that the DUP is willing to re-enter the power-sharing Executive in Northern Ireland.
“That’s really important because it means that devolved democratic government can be restored in Northern Ireland and the Executive can get down to the hard work of dealing with some of the everyday problems that people face north of the border.
“It will also enable the north-south bodies to function again, which is very important in terms of north-south cooperation.
“For our part, the Irish government is very keen to work very closely with the new Executive to do all that we can do to make sure that it’s successful and that it lasts because success and sustainability are really important.”
In an early-morning press conference, Sir Jeffrey said he had secured the “decisive” backing of the 130-strong party executive during a marathon meeting on Monday night.
He said that DUP party officers “mandated” him to back the deal on the table.
Irish deputy premier Micheal Martin hailed the DUP decision.
Mr Martin posted on X: “I welcome last night’s decision by the DUP.
“The imminent return of the Assembly and Executive is good news for the people of Northern Ireland, and the Good Friday Agreement.
“I look forward to working with the Executive and Assembly in the time ahead.”
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee also welcomed the move.
“(It) has been long awaited, I think by a lot of people,” Ms McEntee added.
“It’s over two years now since we’ve had an Executive in the north and I think in particular people in Northern Ireland want to have a functioning Executive.
“So obviously, I hope this will be a pathway towards getting that up and running. But really, it’s very, very welcome news.
“It could be a matter of days and not before time and of course the Taoiseach and Tanaiste and all of government will work with the new Executive and support them in whatever way that they can.”