A UK exit from the EU would have huge implications for Northern Ireland, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned.
In a speech to business leaders in Belfast last night, Mr Kenny said the fall-out for the North had been neglected in the British-EU debate to date.
He said EU membership had brought benefits to people in the North and he urged business representatives to make their voices heard on behalf of continued membership.
Mr Kenny was the guest speaker at the annual dinner of the Northern Ireland branch of the Confederation of British Industry. He spoke about the benefits of north-south cooperation and the continuing excellent relations between the Irish and British governments.
But the Taoiseach warned that the biggest challenge the North will face in the coming years was the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union. The Taoiseach said the EU had helped the North's peace process and given regional and farm grants.