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Governments set out Northern Ireland talks plan



The British and Irish governments  have set out details of how they intend to proceed with talks to restore  Northern Ireland power-sharing.

In a joint statement, they said a series of working groups would be set up to deal with key sticking points.

Stormont's  five main party leaders will also hold weekly meetings with the NI  Secretary and Tanaiste (Irish deputy PM) to "take stock" and set the  agenda.

 There will be a weekly round-table meeting involving party leaders and the working groups will deal with several key issues.

They  will be made up of three representatives from each of the five parties  in the talks, and representatives from the British and Irish governments  will advise them.

The separate working groups will seek agreement on:

  • Programme for government, led by the  head of the NI civil service David Sterling, looking at issues around  prosperity, industrial and investment strategies in a restored executive  - and improving public services
  • Reform of the petition of concern, led by Hugh Widdis, departmental solicitor and former assembly legal counsel
  • Rights, language and identity issues led by former culture department permanent secretary, Paul Sweeney
  • Improving the sustainability,  stability and operation of the Good Friday Agreement institutions, led  by ex-NI civil service boss Sir Malcolm McKibbin
  • Transparency, accountability and the operation of the Executive led by the permanent secretary of finance, Sue Gray

BBC News

Hundreds take part in border protests against Brexit


Hundreds of people have taken part in a number of demonstrations on the Irish border in opposition to Brexit.

Border Communities Against Brexit organised the protests to mark the day after Britain had been due to leave the European Union.

Border demonstrations took place along a number of crossing points in  Co Tyrone, Co Louth, Co Donegal, Co Fermanagh, Co Cavan and Co  Monaghan.

Demonstrators set up a mock check-point on the Old Dublin Road in  Carrickcarnon which was manned by people dressed as customs officers.

The road was closed to members of the public as protesters carried anti-Brexit placards and EU flags.


Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald was joined by party  vice-president Michelle O'Neill and Newry and Armagh Sinn Fein Assembly  member Conor Murphy.

Border Communities Against Brexit spokesman Declan Fearon warned a crash Brexit is "increasingly likely".

He said: "A border in the past meant this road was closed for over 40 years and this community was divided.

"We won't allow the very hard right-wing Tories and the ERG (European  Research Group) and especially the DUP to destroy this community and  bring us back to days when this was an economic wasteland."

Around 300 people gathered at the border on a road that was closed during the Troubles.

Many similar protests were staged on various border points between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

from: RTE NEWS