Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“Issues relating to the internal affairs of Northern Ireland should include no role for the government of the Republic of Ireland yet the Irish Foreign Minister is clearly playing a central role in the talks commencing today. Indeed to facilitate same 5 Dublin officials have been given passes for life to Parliament Buildings with unfettered access to anywhere in the building. And this under the oversight of the Assembly Commission on which the DUP and UUP quietly sit.
“David Trimble for all his faults refused to engage with the Irish government when strand one issues were discussed during the Belfast Agreement. Yet where are the Unionist objections to Simon Coveney’s role today? Indeed, where were they last week when Coveney lorded it over us to jointly announce today’s talks?
“This is a seminal point of constitutional importance yet Unionists accept the involvement of a foreign government in our internal affairs without a whimper!
“As one contrasts the approach of Mr Trimble to that of the DUP today I cannot help but note the irony that the supposedly anti-Belfast Agreement DUP is beavering away to get its institutions up and running again before its 20th anniversary. Actions do indeed speak louder than words.”