The Taoiseach has said that the Government would seek a "consultative role" in Northern Ireland if direct rule was imposed by the British government.

Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that the imposition of direct rule is not something the Government here could support as it would be contrary to the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement.

But he said: "If the sovereign government were to impose it, we would then seek a consultative role under the auspices of the British/Irish intergovernmental conference as envisaged by the GFA. And I did impart that to Boris Johnson when he was in Dublin recently."

Both leaders held their first face-to-face meeting last week since Mr Johnson became Prime Minister.

The talks, which took place at Government Buildings, were described as "positive and constructive".

Today, Mr Varadkar said the likelihood of restoring the executive depends on outcome of Brexit negotiations.

"If we are able to secure a deal we will be in a good position to do so. If we are not, it is going to be difficult to do so for a lot of reasons that are obvious to everyone in this House," he said.

The Taoiseach also said there is a possibility that he will meet Mr Johnson in New York where both leaders will be attending a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly next week.

"Both Prime Minister Johnson and I will be in New York next week and we are trying to find a time where we are both in the same building in order to have a follow up meeting there," he said.