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Irish PM Expresses Concern Over Theresa May's Proposed Deal With DUP For New UK Govt

Irish prime minister Enda Kenny expressed concern today that a proposed alliance between Britain's ruling Conservatives and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) could pose a "challenge" to peace in the province.

AFP

Updated:June 11, 2017, 8:53 PM IST
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Irish PM Expresses Concern Over Theresa May's Proposed Deal With DUP For New UK Govt
Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Arlene Foster addresses journalists in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Image: Reuters

Dublin: Irish prime minister Enda Kenny expressed concern today that a proposed alliance between Britain's ruling Conservatives and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) could pose a "challenge" to peace in the province.

In a phone call with British Prime Minster Theresa May, Kenny warned that efforts to shore up her minority government with the hardline Protestant DUP should not put at risk the Good Friday peace accords.

"They discussed the outcome of the UK general election and the (British) prime minister outlined the proposed supply and confidence arrangement between her party and the DUP," a spokesman for the Irish government said.

"The taoiseach (Kenny) indicated his concern that nothing should happen to put the Good Friday Agreement at risk and the challenge that this agreement will bring."

Before the 1998 peace deal, Northern Ireland was plagued by violence over Britain's control of the province.

The Good Friday accords led to a power-sharing arrangement between nationalist, largely Catholic parties who want to join Ireland and the pro-British Protestant community.

Kenny also "noted the absence of any nationalist voice in Westminster", after Northern Ireland's Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) lost its three seats in Thursday's election.

Sinn Fein won seven seats but the party refuses to sit in the House of Commons, which requires swearing allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II.

May lost her parliamentary majority in Thursday's snap election, prompting her to seek the support of the DUP's 10 MPs to stay in power.

Kenny is due to hand over power this week to his successor as leader of the ruling Fine Gael party, Leo Varadkar.

"The taoiseach stated that there should be an early meeting between the prime minister and his successor Leo Varadkar and wished her well in the challenges that now lie ahead," the spokesman added.

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