The co-chair of the Irish-American grouping in the US Congress has called on President Donald Trump to appoint a new special envoy to Northern Ireland.

Massachusetts congressman Richard Neal said that this was a "critically important period of US-Ireland relations" and that he was urging President Trump to appoint an envoy.

Since 1995, the past three US Presidents have named several individuals as special envoy to play an "indispensable role in the negotiation and implementation of several peace accords".

Mr Neal said next week's visit by Taoiseach Enda Kenny to Washington would be an appropriate time for the new President to name a new envoy.

Mr Neal is the co-chair of the Congressional Friends of Ireland in the US.

It is a bipartisan grouping of senators and congressmen and women who support Irish affairs.