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Saturday 3 December 2016

Taoiseach invites Cameron to visit for 1916 centenary

Invitation

British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) greets Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny outside No 10 Downing Street in central London
British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) greets Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny outside No 10 Downing Street in central London

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has invited the British Prime Minister David Cameron to Ireland as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

Mr Kenny announced the invitation after a meeting with Mr Cameron in Downing Street.

Top of the agenda for the meeting was the so-called "Brexit" referendum that will see Britain vote on whether or not to stay in the European Union (EU).

Emphasised

Developments in the north were also discussed and both leaders emphasised the strength of relations between Dublin and London before Mr Kenny revealed the invitation.

Mr Kenny said that there will be a series of "comprehensive, inclusive, sensitive" events to mark the 1916 centenary.

"I've invited the Prime Minister to come over himself at some time during the course of the year, if that's appropriate, and obviously he'll consider that in due course."

Earlier, Mr Cameron also spoke of this year's centenary.

"Of course, 2016 also marks the centenary of some important events in our shared history.

"We will mark them as we should in a spirit of mutual respect, inclusiveness and friendship," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenny told the British prime minister that all of his government's concerns about membership of the European Union (EU) are "solvable".

Mr Kenny pledged his support for Mr Cameron's government in its attempts to negotiate EU reforms in the areas of sovereignty, competitiveness, economic governance and migration ahead of the in/out referendum on Britain staying in the EU, which is due before the end of 2017.

The Taoiseach said all of the British government's issues of concern "can be concluded successfully and strongly in the interests of everybody throughout the union."

Mr Cameron spoke of "the good progress we continue to make in reforming the UK's relationship with the EU".

He also made supportive noises about Mr Kenny's general election prospects.

He heard Mr Kenny tell reporters that Irish voters should back the current coalition if they want to "keep the economy moving" and make progress towards "full employment".

The Herald asked Mr Cameron if had any advice for Mr Kenny in winning a surprise overall majority, as his Conservative Party did in Westminster last year.

"I wouldn't give advice, but that last answer [by Mr Kenny] sounded to me like the 'Long-Term Economic Plan'," he quipped, referring to his party's 2015 election slogan.

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