November 1, 2017 / 2:18 PM / a year ago

Ireland says would insist on Northern Ireland role if power-sharing not restored

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Irish government would insist on a role in the running of Northern Ireland if power-sharing devolved government is not restored in the British province, but it hopes that will not happen, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Wednesday.

The British government moved on Wednesday to directly set Northern Ireland’s budget after the province’s main political parties failed to reach agreement on restoring a power-sharing government that collapsed in January.

“We will have to fall back on the full detail of the (1998) Good Friday agreement, in terms of the structures that are required in the absence of devolved government,” Coveney told Irish state broadcaster RTE.

“The prospect of direct rule in Northern Ireland and the Irish government’s insistence on having a role in that — an appropriate role consistent with the Good Friday Agreement — is not where we want to be,” he said.

Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Catherine Evans

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