Trimble under fire for criticising Dublin
Lord Trimble has been criticised after he claimed the Irish government's Brexit strategy risked provoking loyalist paramilitaries.
The former UUP leader claimed they could become active because of "silly things" coming out of Dublin.
"The one thing that would provoke loyalist paramilitaries is the present Irish government saying silly things about the border and the constitutional issue," Mr Trimble said, in an interview published in the Guardian.
But his remarks came under fire from senior politicians in Dublin. Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin said his comments were "a stark illustration of the uncertainty and instability that has been injected into the Northern Ireland political bloodstream by Brexit".
He told the Irish Times they displayed a rationale that is an "unwelcome side effect of the effort on behalf of some to aggressively link Brexit" with efforts to unite Ireland.
Irish foreign minister and Tanaiste, Simon Coveney, also rejected the former UUP leader's comments.
Mr Coveney's spokesman said Dublin was fighting in the Brexit talks to protect the "hard-won peace on the island of Ireland".