Irish concern over Arlene Foster comments

Posted By: October 30, 2016


Mr.Flanagan said he was concerned by the comments.

 Photo: Pacemaker ITV.(Belfast). Sunday, 30, 2016

The Republic of Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Flanagan has expressed concern about comments made by First Minister Arlene Foster.

She told the DUP conference that Dublin was talking down Northern Ireland’s economy and poaching foreign investment.

Giving his reaction, Charles Flanagan said: “I’m very concerned at these remarks.”

He also said he was “very concerned at the claim that representatives of the Irish Government where allegedly talking down the Northern Ireland economy”.

Mr Flanagan added: “I’m concerned that allegations of representatives of the Irish state were in any way poaching business.”

Arlene Foster on stage at the 2016 DUP conference. Credit: PA

Speaking at the DUP conference, Ms Foster had told party members that relations with Dublin are “probably as good as they have ever been” and work would continue when it is Northern Ireland’s best interests.

But added: “However, the reality is that political instability in Dublin, and fears for their own future, are driving their decision-making at present as much as any concern about NI.

“And while they seek to take the views of people of Northern Ireland on the issue of Brexit at home, their representatives are sent out around the world to talk down our economy and to attempt to poach our investors.”

The remarks were later challenged by Brendan Smith of Fianna Fáil.

He said: “While, of course, we need to be aware that the First Minister was speaking to her political base, it is absolutely incorrect for her to suggest that the Irish Government talks down the Northern Irish economy, and that Ireland seeks to poach investors away from Northern Ireland.”