30. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if she has met with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland since his appointment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40463/16]
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I met with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire MP, in Dublin on 7 November when we had the opportunity to discuss a range of issues of common concern.
The security situation was the primary point among the many matters we discussed and we are at one in our shared analysis of the threat from the so-called 'dissident republican' paramilitary groups. The continued lethal intent of these groups was sadly evidenced by the murder in Belfast earlier this year of Northern Ireland Prison Officer Adrian Ismay. Combatting the persistent threat from these groups is an absolute and shared priority. The Secretary of State and I are at one in our support for the close co-operation and the ongoing work of the police and security services North and South in bearing down on these groups and bringing them to justice.
We also had the opportunity to discuss issues in respect of security co-operation and the Common Travel Area on the island of Ireland arising from the decision of the UK to exit the European Union. There is a shared determination to ensure that the current level of co-operation in combatting the security threat can be maintained and the continued operation of the Common Travel Area between Ireland and the UK is also a shared priority for both Governments.
I am confident that the Secretary of State and I will continue our positive working relationship and build further on the existing co-operation between us.