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Press Release

7 October 2010
SO 01/10/11


Parliamentarians from both the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Houses of the Oireachtas have today begun the North South Parliamentary Forum Conference focusing on building strong pillars. The conference takes place at the Slieve Donard Hotel.

The conference, chaired jointly by Assembly Speaker and the Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, will consider how relationships between the two institutions might be developed.

Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly William Hay, MLA said: “We are delighted to be able to host this conference for parliamentarians representing all the main political parties in Northern Ireland and Ireland. This is a unique opportunity to discuss issues that are relevant to the legislatures in both jurisdictions.”
Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, Séamus Kirk, added: “We have invited speakers to lead the debate on European issues. Noel Treacy TD will speak to the conference on parliamentary relationships with Europe and Jim Nicholson (MEP) will lead a session on agriculture and rural development reform. These issues are pertinent to all parliamentarians in the region.”

The conference will provide a platform for more than 90 parliamentarians from both jurisdictions to explore issues of common interest.

Notes to Editors:
  1. The basis for the North South Parliamentary Forum can be found in both the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and the St Andrews Agreement.
  2. Clause 18 of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, under Strand Two (North/South Ministerial Council) states: “The Northern Ireland Assembly and the Oireachtas to consider developing a joint parliamentary forum, bringing together equal numbers from both institutions for discussion of matters of mutual interest and concern”.
  3. The St Andrews Agreement, within Annex A (Practical Changes to the Operations of the Institutions), clause 21 (under Strand Two and Three Issues) states: “North/South Parliamentary Forum: The Northern Ireland Executive would encourage the parties in the Assembly to establish a North-South parliamentary forum bringing together equal numbers from the Oireachtas and the Assembly, and operating on an inclusive basis”.
  4. The Conference takes place on Thursday 7—Friday 8 October 2010, in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle, Co Down.
For media inquiries please contact:

Susie Brown
Head of Communications
Northern Ireland Assembly
Mobile : 07776 198226

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