22 August 2017

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D., today (22 August 2017) met with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, James Brokenshire M.P.  

The Secretary of State briefed the Minister on the UK‘s position papers on customs and on Northern Ireland in the context of the Brexit negotiations.  Minister Flanagan acknowledged the publication of the papers and welcomed the emphasis on the priority areas that the Government is also pursuing including the Common Travel Area, the Good Friday Agreement, North/South cooperation and avoiding a hard border. 

The Government is analysing the papers in detail and will be engaging closely with the Barnier Commission Task Force and our other partner Member States in “EU27” on those papers. 

The Minister and the Secretary of State also took the opportunity to discuss the ongoing security threat on the island of Ireland from paramilitary groups opposed to peace.  They noted in particular the continued close co-operation between the Gardaí and the PSNI in combating the activities of these groups. The Minister emphasised the Government's continued priority commitment to tackling these groups.

Minister Flanagan stated

“Paramilitary groups opposed to peace remain the greatest security threat on the island of Ireland. The Secretary of State and I discussed our ongoing cooperation on combating that threat.  The Gardaí and the PSNI continue to work together effectively to tackle these groups and their associated criminality.  The Fresh Start Agreement has a particular emphasis on tackling paramilitarism and breaking the stranglehold of terrorists and thugs on vulnerable communities. As Minister for Justice and Equality I am fully committed to doing everything I can to counter these threats and protect our Peace Process.”