Gilmore answers Dáil questions for last time as Foreign Affairs Minister

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said it is in the best interest for everyone in Northern Ireland that agreement be reached now in relation to issues such as parades.

Minister Gilmore was taking questions as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Dáil for the final time before he is replaced as Labour leader on Friday.

He is also expected to leave the Cabinet in the upcoming reshuffle, which is likely to be announced next Tuesday.

Speaking this morning Minister Gilmore said that since the last round of peace talks in the North - chaired by diplomat Richard Haass last year - progress has been painfully slow.

"I have been frustrated, and I've expressed this, that there's been a kind of a stop-go approach to these talks since the new year," he said.

"I'm glad now that the two three-day sessions have been arranged".

"They start this morning, they will meet...today, tomorrow and Friday - they will meet again next week for three days".

"I believe it is possible to bridge the issues that are outstanding," he added.

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