The Irish and British governments are planning to commence talks involving all major parties in Northern Ireland in a bid to restore power-sharing at Stormont, RTÉ News has learned.
Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Northern Secretary Karen Bradley are due to hold a joint press conference in Belfast on Friday afternoon when the announcement will be made.
It is understood there has been contact between the office of the Taoiseach and the office of British Prime Minister Theresa May.
It is hoped the talks will begin within a fortnight, sources have revealed.
It is expected they will start after the local elections take place in Northern Ireland next week, but prior to the European Parliament elections.
The Northern Ireland Office would neither confirm nor deny reports but a spokesman said it was longstanding policy to seek restoration of devolution as soon as possible.
The move follows the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in Derry last week, which sparked calls for Sinn Féin and the DUP to go back into coalition.
Stormont was suspended in January 2017 and Fr Martin Magill received a standing ovation at her funeral on Wednesday when he asked why it had taken her death to unite political parties.