Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has asked British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to keep the Irish Government informed of any new package of measures designed to reassure the Democratic Unionist Party about Northern Ireland's place in the UK.

Speaking following a bilateral meeting with Mr Sunak at a summit of European leaders in Moldova, Mr Varadkar said: "What is publicly known at this stage is that the DUP is seeking some assurances from the British government about their place in the UK.

"That's really a matter between the DUP and the UK government.

"But we've said we would just like to be aware of that so that we're not caught off guard or by surprise, and that there's nothing that would concern us in terms of the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement.

"I fully trust the prime minister in that regard," he said.

The Taoiseach met Mr Sunak on the margins of the European Political Community summit.

Comprising 47 European leaders, including all 27 European Union heads of government, the gathering has been overshadowed by the war in Ukraine.

Mr Varadkar said the Irish Government was keen to co-finance key infrastructure projects in Northern Ireland as part of any overall financial package that might facilitate the restoration of Stormont.

He pointed to the huge budget shortfall in Northern Ireland and problems over health care and education.

"The Irish government is willing to make a contribution to particular projects. The A5 [road project] is just one example, Narrow Water Bridges is another, the work we're doing with the university in Derry at Magee is another example, north-south health cooperation: we're really up for doing a lot more and co-financing it.

"We want to be part of that conversation."

NI Executive 'an ice age away' - DUP

Asked about remarks by DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr that a sitting Northern Ireland Executive could be "an ice age away", the Taoiseach said: "Ian Paisley is obviously very welcome to his views.

"The people of Northern Ireland voted for the Good Friday Agreement by a margin of over 70%.

"That means power-sharing Northern Ireland, that means devolution, that means north-south bodies that function, that means closer east-west cooperation between Britain and Ireland.

"I want to see them up and running, so does the prime minister, so does the majority of people in Northern Ireland.

"There are lots of problems being faced by people in Northern Ireland that can only be best solved by the politicians in that place working together and we're here to support that in any way we can."