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22 September 2009

Northern Ireland Assembly Welcomes The European Board Of The International Ombudsman Institute

Parliament Buildings in Belfast took on an international flavour as the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, William Hay, MLA, welcomed the European Board of the International Ombudsman Institute as part of a two-day visit to Belfast.

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly said: “I am delighted to welcome Tom Frawley and his colleagues from across Europe to Parliament Buildings. The Assembly Ombudsman plays an important role in ensuring that the people of Northern Ireland receive the public services they are entitled to, and today’s visit offered an opportunity to discuss with other Ombudsmen how they relate to the parliaments in their countries. Our visiting Ombudsmen and I share a common goal to strengthen democracy through openness, transparency and accountability, and I am grateful to them for sharing their experiences with us.”

Tom Frawley, Assembly Ombudsman, said: “ I’m very pleased that the European Board of the International Ombudsman’s Institute is having its inaugural meeting in Belfast in this fortieth Anniversary year of our Office. This is a significant year for the Office of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman, and we’re honoured that the European members have been invited to the Assembly to meet the Speaker. The members of the Board look forward to hearing first hand from elected representatives about the challenges and opportunities which devolved government presents for the people of Northern Ireland.”

Board member and Assembly Ombudsman, Tom Frawley was accompanied on the visit by Dr Peter Kostelka - Ombudsman for Austria , Mr Rafael Ribó - Ombudsman for Catalonia, Professor Yorgos Kaminis - Ombudsman for Greece and Mr Mats Melin - Ombudsman for Sweden.


Note to Editors

1. The International Ombudsman Institute was established in 1978. It is a worldwide organisation of ombudsman offices. It is incorporated as a non-profit organisation and, as such, has the status of a natural person at law.

For media enquiries please contact:

Susie Brown, Head of Communications
Northern Ireland Assembly
Tel: 9052 1161
Mobile : 07776 198226

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