Charlie Flanagan 'very concerned' by Arlene Foster's remarks about Irish government

The First Minister suggested Dublin was trying to poach investment and undermine the economy of Northern Ireland

Charlie Flanagan 'very concerned' by Arlene Foster's remarks about Irish government

Charlie Flanagan. Image: RollingNews.ie

The Minister for Foreign Affairs says he is 'very concerned' by claims Dublin was trying to poach investment and undermine the economy of Northern Ireland following the UK's Brexit vote.

Charlie Flanagan says he has contacted the North's Economy Minister Simon Hamilton to express his concerns over the remarks by First Minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster.

At her party's conference yesterday, Mrs Foster said: "The reality is that political instability in Dublin, and fears of their own future, are driving their decision-making at present as much as any concern about Northern Ireland.

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

Speaking after a bilateral meeting in Tipperary with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Mr Flanagan expressed surprise and concern at Ms Foster's remarks to the DUP annual conference.

He explained: "I was very surprised at these remarks. I'm very concerned at these remarks.

"I'm very concerned at a claim that representatives of the Irish government were allegedly talking down at the Northern Ireland economy," he added.

The IDA, meanwhile, says it will continue to "promote Ireland as a place to invest, as it has done for almost 70 years".

In a statement, the organisation adds: “There is increased interest in Ireland as a result of Brexit. IDA Ireland will compete for any mobile investment that results from Brexit.”