British Irish Parliamentary Assembly meets in Sligo this weekend

Fiona Heavey

Reporter:

Fiona Heavey

British Irish Parliamentary Assembly meets in Sligo this weekend

British Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Sligo this weekend

It is almost certain Brexit will be main focus of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly talks in Sligo this weekend.

The session will feature addresses by Joe McHugh TD, Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Children’s Ombudsmen from Ireland and Northern Ireland. The British Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Robin Barnett will also address the Assembly. 

Local fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan is Vice chair of the Assembly and members include Deputy Tony McLoughlin FG, Deputy Eamon Scnalon FF, Cavan Deputy Brendan Smith FF and Roscommon Senator Terry Leyden FF.

The 56th plenary meeting on June 10,11 and 12 takes place in Sligo Park Hotel.

Speaking ahead of the plenary, Irish Co-Chair Seán Crowe TD said, “As 2018 is the one hundredth anniversary of partial suffrage, this 56th plenary will see BIPA members discuss and acknowledge the very real challenges facing women in parliament. We also plan to discuss the historical perspective of the suffrage movement particularly against the backdrop of ongoing claims of sexual harassment, unequal representation and pay.”

“Peace and stability can never be taken for granted and BIPA plays an important role in providing a forum for our parliaments to meet and engage directly with one another. The Assembly acknowledges the major political challenges, like Brexit, facing our collective jurisdictions. We are all keen to see the political institutions restored in the North and we will use the opportunity this plenary presents to further build and maintain good relationships between our parliaments and its elected representatives” 

Co-chair Andrew Rosindell commented, “It is now 20 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement that established the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly in its current form to facilitate on-going dialogue between parliaments in Ireland, the UK, devolved nations and Crown Dependencies. I look forward to reflecting on what has been achieved in these past two decades and how we can continue to work together to secure prosperity in Northern Ireland. We also look forward to investigating some of the broader issues related to Brexit, including the impact on children and at a local level, as well as commemorating the votes for women campaign and role of women in parliaments today.”

Sligo Park Hotel General Manager Gerard Moore will this weekend welcome members of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly as their hold the 56th plenary in the hotel.

 “We are delighted to welcome the politicians to the Sligo Park Hotel for what will be an interesting meeting, given the current political issues in relation to Brexit and the proximity of Sligo to the border. It is great for Sligo to have some of the most influential politicians in Ireland and the UK here for the conference. Whatever is discussed at the meeting, they will be given a warm welcome at the Sligo Park Hotel,” said Mr Moore.

This is the first time that Sligo will host the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly. There could be up to 70 members of the Assembly present from Sunday June 10 to Tuesday June 12.