Ireland's leaders at Downing Street

Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, as well as Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have arrived at Downing Street for the latest round of talks aimed at kick-starting Northern Ireland's stalled political process.

Mr Ahern was also joined by the Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble for the first of a series of meetings this afternoon with the Prime Minister Tony Blair and Northern Ireland's pro-Good Friday Agreement parties.

Mr Blair and Mr Ahern are holding talks with Sinn Fein, the SDLP, the cross-community Alliance Party and the loyalist Progressive Unionists. It is their first round of meetings with the parties since last month's Assembly election.

Mr Blair, on Tuesday, held talks with the Rev Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionists, who warned they would never sit in Government with Sinn Fein.

The DUP last month overtook Mr Trimble's Ulster Unionists to become the largest unionist party. Sinn Fein emerged as the largest nationalist party, overtaking the SDLP.

Speaking outside No10, Mr Adams said the DUP must not be allowed to act as a "brake" on the political process.

He said Dr Paisley's party should be given a "short" time to make progress because they have not been "in contact with the real world" for a long time.

Mr Adams said he also hopes to raise with the Prime Minister the subject of the Cory report into murders where there have been allegations of collusion with the security forces, and the Barron tribunal into the Dublin Monaghan bombings.

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