Trimble and Durkan to meet Taoiseach in Dublin


The Ulster Unionist Party leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Mr David Trimble is due in Dublin this evening for a meeting with the Taoiseach. He will accompanied by his deputy Mr Mark Durkan of the SDLP.

It is the first time the two have travelled to Dublin to meet Mr Ahern together. The meeting will focus on ongoing efforts to implement the Belfast Agreement, a Government spokeswoman said.

Earlier, UUP dissident Mr Jeffrey Donaldson threatened to try to remove Sinn Féin from government if Britain fails to take action over three Irishmen arrested in Colombia.

Mr Donaldson said Sinn Féin was "not fit to be in the government of Northern Ireland". His comments come after a British TV programme claimed three men arrested in Colombia had extensive links with Marxist rebels.

Channel 4's Dispatchesclaims Mr Martin McCauley, Mr James Monaghan and Mr Niall Connolly had been in Colombia several times before their arrests in Bogota last summer.

The programme quotes military sources as saying Mr Monaghan, a former member of the Sinn Féin National Executive, had been in the country as far back as 1997.

Two of the three Irishmen have travelled to other Latin American countries on false passports, the programme claimed. It alleged Mr Connolly and Mr Monaghan visited Nicaragua between July 31st, 1999, and September 18th.

The documentary claimed Mr Connolly, who was Sinn Féin's Latin American representative based in Cuba, had travelled to Nicaragua a number of times. A former Sandinista fighter told the programme the Dubliner met leading figures in the Nicaraguan group at least three times.

The source, who appeared on camera wearing a hood, said the Sinn Féin representative had been in Cuba "for many years" and had acquired a strong reputation among Nicaragua's rebels.

additional reporting PA