Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, has insisted she does not want to "pull up the drawbridge" between the north and south in a speech aimed at defusing Brexit tensions with the Irish government. "Today was a difference in tone, but not in policy", she said.
Mrs Foster told the audience that Brexit was not about "building a wall and cutting ourselves off from our nearest neighbours".
"The atmosphere going forward needs to improve and, in particular, negotiators need to be careful not to rush for the microphones at the first opportunity".
Speaking on Saturday at a Brexit-focused Killarney Economic Conference in Co Kerry, Arlene Foster urged close Anglo-Irish relations, and suggested leaders across the island of Ireland should work together for their mutual benefit during Brexit.
"We will continue to have our own identities and, for our part, will no longer be members of the European Union, but our futures will still be closely connected", she said.
Mrs Foster also said she thinks of the Republic and Northern Ireland like a semi-detached house - saying they look the same on the outside, but that things are done differently inside.
"The DUP need to put the interests of all our people before party, and set aside the Brexit blank cheque they issued to the Tories as part of their supply and confidence agreement", Mrs O'Neill added.