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hanging on the telephone

Brexit, Covid-19 and Pat Finucane inquiry raised in call between Taoiseach and Boris Johnson last night

The two leaders reaffirmed the need to prioritise the Good Friday Agreement.

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have re-affirmed the need to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

The pair held a phone call last night, when they discussed Brexit negotiations, climate change and their respective efforts to curbing the spread of Covid-19.

“The leaders updated one another on their respective efforts to tackle coronavirus and the steps they have taken to ensure people in the UK and Ireland can enjoy Christmas as safely as possible,” a Downing Street spokesperson said in a statement.

“They discussed shared challenges including the environment and committed to working together ahead of the UK-hosted COP26 summit next year.

“They discussed the progress in the UK-EU trade negotiations and the Prime Minister underlined his commitment to reaching a deal that respects the sovereignty of the UK.

“The leaders also reaffirmed the need to prioritise the Good Friday Agreement and avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.”

RTÉ also reports that Martin requested for the British government to hold a public inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane in 1989.

The Belfast solicitor was shot by loyalist paramilitaries, amid claims of collusion with state security forces.

His widow Geraldine and son John met Martin at Government Buildings in Dublin this week, and the Taoiseach later told the Dáil that the need for a public inquiry was agreed as far back as 2001 and that the UK should stick to that agreement.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis is expected to indicate how the UK government will proceed with the matter on Monday.

In February last year, the UK Supreme Court ruled that investigations into the fatal shooting of the solicitor have not been effective and fell short of international human rights standards.

Last week, it also emerged that four of Northern Ireland’s political parties united to call for a public inquiry into Finucane’s murder.

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