#Vote2017 reaction: We won't take lectures from Micheál Martin, says SF's Mary Lou McDonald

#Vote2017 reaction: We won't take lectures from Micheál Martin, says SF's Mary Lou McDonald

Update 4.45pm: Sinn Fein Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald has said if Micheál Martin is concerned about Ireland’s representation at Westminster then he should stand candidates in the northern constituencies.

Responding to criticism of Sinn Féin’s long-standing abstentionist policy from the Fianna Fáil leader today, she said: “Micheál Martin is a hurler on the ditch in this election. We will not take lectures from him.

“Sinn Féin represents the nationalist and republican people in the North of our country, Fianna Fáil don’t even attempt to represent people there, so Micheál Martin should either put up or shut up.

“We put our position to the people and it has been overwhelmingly endorsed.

“We are mandated not to take our seats at Westminster and we will honour that mandate.

“We know Fianna Fáil has issues with keeping promises and respecting mandates, but we don’t.

“Micheál Martin says Sinn Féin’s position is incomprehensible. What is really incomprehensible is that a so-called Republican Party doesn’t stand in elections in the North of our country.

“Instead of worrying about representation in Westminster Fianna Fáil should work with Sinn Féin to secure speaking rights for Irish MPs, representing Irish people, in the Dáil.”

Update 12.10pm: Businesses in the North have called for no hard border with the Republic in the wake of the UK election.

President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ellvena Graham says the election result adds more uncertainty on an already struggling industry.

“This result has accomplished the unlikely feat of piling more uncertainty on business communities already grappling with a number of issues including a shortage of skilled workers, currency fluctuations, high up-front costs, and the Brexit process," she said.

“In terms of Northern Ireland, our political parties must now resume talks and come to an agreement whereby government can re-start again. It is now time to put the Northern Ireland economy first.

“It is crucial that whatever agreement is reached with the EU results in no ‘hard’ border with the Republic of Ireland. This would be a major setback in economic, social and political relations between Northern Ireland and its neighbour."

Update 11.15am: Fine Gael Leader, Minister Leo Varadkar, says the outcome of the UK election "represents an opportunity for Ireland" and added that the restoration of power sharing in the North is a priority.

"The Irish Government is ready to participate in negotiations on Brexit and to restore power sharing in Northern Ireland," he said.

"We must ensure that the Brexit talks are handled in a smooth and coherent manner to secure the best possible outcome for Ireland, for Europe and the UK.

"The results of the UK election indicate to me that there is no strong mandate to proceed with a hard Brexit, which represents an opportunity for Ireland.

"The early restoration of the Executive in Northern Ireland is also a priority. There is now a strong opportunity for the parties in Northern Ireland to re-engage in discussions to form an Executive."

#Vote2017 reaction: We won't take lectures from Micheál Martin, says SF's Mary Lou McDonald

Update 11am: Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, has said it is too early to predict what impact the outcome of the UK election will have on Brexit negotiations.

He admitted it has caused uncertainty and it has been a challenging couple of weeks.

"It is important talks are up and running at the earliest opportunity, we have already lost some time with this election. It is vital negotiations on Brexit begin as soon as possible," he said on Today with Sean O’Rourke.

Minister Flanagan said what has been learned from this election is there is a golden rule in politics and that is never take people for granted.

"The government went into an election three years before it was necessary ... and we saw what happened during the course of the campaign."

#Vote2017 reaction: We won't take lectures from Micheál Martin, says SF's Mary Lou McDonald

He said from Ireland's perspective, our interests are to the fore, firstly relating to Brexit and secondly on the matter of the North.

"I am pleased to note that all the parties express a desire that an executive should be re-established in Northern Ireland."

He said he welcomes the comments of Arlene Foster and Gerry Adams and looks forward to being in Northern Ireland next week with a statutory deadline to form an executive.

Minister Flanagan said there remains a large absence of detail relating to Brexit from the UK perspective.

He said the uncertainty is damaging to trade, business and society and has destabilised the situation in the UK.

"Brexit has destabilised British politics and we haven't seen the real details offered."

He thinks the first job of the minority government is providing certainty and clarity.

Minister Flanagan said he thinks there will a further emergence of common ground among the parties on the matter of Brexit if talks in the North proceed next weeks with views to forming an executive.

"Everybody agrees that Northern Ireland needs a devolved government."

Earlier: Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin says the UK election result is potentially good news for Ireland.

#Vote2017 reaction: We won't take lectures from Micheál Martin, says SF's Mary Lou McDonald

He believes the capacity for 'hard Brexit' is now gone.

Martin says Ireland has a responsibility to push for the UK to stay in some form in the single market and customs union.

"I think we have to seize the opportunity in terms of our presentation at a European level, to make sure that the Europeans, the European institution, the commission, the German and the French in particular, respond appropriately to the message that's eminating from the British public."

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