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Taoiseach had “wide-ranging” discussions with Boris Johnson on various issues, including Ballymurphy massacre

Taoiseach Micheál Martin travelled to the UK today to meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The two leaders met today at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country house, to discuss a variety of topics, including post-Brexit trade and the Ballymurphy massacre.

The Taoiseach described the discussions as “wide-ranging and constructive”. Mr. Martin said in a tweet that the talks included British-Irish relations as well as the Ballymurphy families’ long fight for justice. “We also reaffirmed both governments’ commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and its institutions,” he added.

The Ballymurphy killings, which happened in Ballymurphy, Belfast, in 1971, were a major topic of discussion. Mr. Martin said that they had a good discussion on this subject. “I think we’re both fully apprised of the terrible injustice that was done to the victims of Ballymurphy and their families,” he said.

The Downing Street statement about today’s meeting revealed that Johnson told the Taoiseach about the UK Government’s commitment to find a way forward in for the victims, help restore the truth, and help communities in the future.

According to a Downing Street spokesperson, Boris Johnson apologised for the killings on behalf of the UK Government during a phone call with Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill two days ago.

The two counterparts also discussed about the COVID-19 response, support for peace and stability in Northern Ireland, and the broader British-Irish relationship.

In a statement, Downing Street said the leaders discussed the importance of working together to uphold the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement and to maintain smooth trade between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“The Taoiseach and Prime Minister had a good exchange on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the value of working together.  They agreed to remain in close touch over the coming weeks,” it added.

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