Northern Ireland's First Minister and Deputy First Minister have had a public falling out in the presence of Taoiseach Brian Cowen following the North/South Ministerial meeting in Limavady, Co Derry, this afternoon.

Watch, Listen to a clip

DUP leader Peter Robinson and Sinn Féin's Martin McGuiness disagreed about policy issues and party positions over the devolution of justice and policing powers when questioned by journalists after the meeting.

Both men shook their heads and raised their eyebrows in exasperation as the strains within Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive were made obvious during the news conference.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen and seven Government Ministers, including Tánaiste Mary Coughlan, Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin and Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan, are meeting members of the Northern Ireland Executive in Limavady.

Their discussions are concentrating on areas of cross border co-operation - but are taking place against a background of ongoing tension in the power-sharing administration at Stormont.

Last week the Taoiseach discussed tension between the two main parties in the Stormont executive with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

In recent days, Micheál Martin and Northern Secretary Shaun Woodward also met about the problems.

Brian Cowen is likely to use today's event to assess if the time has come for the two governments to intervene.

They would like to see the parties in Northern Ireland settle their differences, but as guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, the two governments have become increasingly concerned about the difficulties at Stormont.