The DUP leader says people there feel abandoned

Sinn Fein is dismissing claims from the DUP leader Arlene Foster suggesting its supporters are now considering voting for her party because of its stance on anti-abortion.

Arlene Foster claims Sinn Féin supporters have told her they will vote DUP over the party's position on abortion.

The procedure is only allowed in Northern Ireland when there's a risk to a woman's health or life.

The DUP leader told Sky News many people feel abandoned, following the recent referendum result here in the Republic.

"There are many people who are shocked in the Republic of Ireland today.

"And whilst I completely acknowledge the result that happened last Saturday, that doesn't take away from the fact that there's a substantial minority of people in the Republic of Ireland today who feel very disenfranchised, who feel very alone, who don't feel that anybody speaks for them anymore.

"And I think people need to be very much aware of that."

The Stormont Assembly has not sat in nearly 500 days | File photo

Irish people voted by a landslide - 66% to 34% - to lift the Constitutional ban on abortion, paving the way to unrestricted access to termination up to 12 weeks.

The vote here has placed the spotlight on the North, with pro-choice campaigners urging British Prime Minister Theresa May to intervene and change the law in Northern Ireland too.

When asked about the rights of women facing unplanned pregnancy in Northern Ireland, Ms Foster replied: "Abortion is a very emotive subject, a very sensitive subject and therefore it deserves a serious discussion and a serious, mature debate.

"It certainly does not deserve some of the antics that we've seen recently, frankly, and I did find it, I have to say, quite distasteful to see people dancing about on the streets in relation to the referendum results."