Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has accepted that the Government's relationship with the Democratic Unionist Party needs to be repaired. 

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week In Politics, Mr Coveney said: "Because of the tension around trying to get the [Phase 1 Brexit] deal we felt was needed for everyone on this island, yes, of course there is repair work to do."

The Tánaiste added: "I hope to be at the forefront in being involved in that... [I am] already seeking a meeting with the DUP before the end of the year.

"If not, I assume, early in the New Year."

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Mr Coveney said that the absence of a power-sharing Executive at Stormont was "part of the problem, actually, of Brexit". 

If Sinn Féin and the DUP cannot agree on a deal which will lead to the return of the Executive, Mr Coveney said: "We have to look back to the Good Friday Agreement again, that is where the rules are set."

He added: "Then there is the prospect of a whole series of other choices - from another election, to the triggering of Intergovernmental Conferences to make decisions on Northern Ireland."

"That is not where we want to be. That will cause tension. It will be a very frosty environment to make decisions in... so we all have a responsibility, in a practical sense, to find a way forward."