PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has been booed and jeered by around 200 people on his visit to Northern Ireland. 

Activists gathered at the gates of Hillsborough Castle as his cavalcade drove in ahead of his meeting with the main Stormont parties amid the latest impasse at Stormont.

Protesters, including campaigners for the Irish language, victims campaigners and anti-Brexit activists, were among the crowds who held aloft banners.

The National:

There was also a demonstration by some of the families of the 11 people killed by soldiers in Ballymurphy in west Belfast in 1971 against plans by the UK Government to offer an effective amnesty on prosecutions for Troubles offences.

The National:

Meanwhile as she arrived for the meeting with Johnson, Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald criticised the “very cynical antics of the Tory Government”.

She spoke briefly to media outside Hillsborough Castle, along with her party’s Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill and caretaker finance minister Conor Murphy.

READ MORE: What to expect as Northern Ireland Protocol row intensifies

McDonald indicated her party delegation would tell Johnson they want the Stormont Executive up and running.

“People have had it now with the choreography between No 10 and the DUP,” she said.

“People have voted for real change and that’s what people are going to get.”

The National:

Mary Lou McDonald (centre), speaks to the media alongside Conor Murphy (left) and Michelle O'Neill (right)

Tensions between London and Brussels are currently intensifying over the prospect of Johnson using domestic legislation at Westminster to nullify parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement that require checks on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is expected to formally announce a plan to legislate on the protocol on Tuesday, although an actual parliamentary Bill is not expected to be published at that point.

The power-sharing institutions in Belfast have been plunged into crisis in the wake of the recent Assembly election, with the DUP refusing to re-enter a devolved government in protest at trading arrangements the party claims are undermining the union.

The EU has made clear that unilateral action from the UK to walk away from the protocol deal would represent a clear breach of international law.