Taoiseach Enda Kenny has announced that the British and Irish governments are to invite parties in the Northern Ireland Executive to a new round of political talks, due to begin next week. 

Mr Kenny said he envisages talks that will be “short, focused and intensive and will deal with the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement as well as trust and confidence issues arising from the legacy of paramilitarism”. 

It is understood that the Taoiseach spoke by phone to Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday. 

The Stormont House agreement was struck in December 2014 between the Northern Ireland executive parties and the two governments.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers, will chair the discussions and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, will be involved on matters linked to the Government's role as co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Kenny said: “If the sustainability of the devolved institutions is to be ensured, it is absolutely critical that these talks are advanced with a sense of urgency and that all of the parties constructively seize this opportunity.”   

Meanwhile, a 41-year-old man, who was arrested yesterday by detectives investigating the murder of Kevin McGuigan in Belfast has been released without charge.

The 53-year-old was shot dead outside his house in the Short Strand area of the city last month.

Detectives investigating the murder also arrested a 46-year-old man earlier today for questioning.

The man is being questioned at Antrim Serious Crime Suite.

This is the thirteenth arrest in connection to the investigation.

Police believe the killing of Mr McGuigan last month was a revenge attack by republican associates of former IRA commander Gerard “Jock” Davison, who was shot dead in May.