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North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association Inaugural Meeting

The inaugural meeting of the North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association (NSIPA) will take place in the Seanad Chamber, Leinster House today.

12 October 2012

NSIPA is a parliamentary association with representatives from the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Houses of the Oireachtas. It will meet twice annually on a rotational basis between the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Houses of the Oireachtas to discuss issues of mutual interest to MLAs, TDs and Senators.

This inaugural meeting of the Association will be jointly chaired by the Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett T.D., and the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, William Hay , MLA.

The Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett T.D., said “Today is a significant day for the members of the Houses of the Oireachtas and of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association is parliamentarian-led and parliamentarian focussed. It is about building relationships and sharing ideas among members of the two institutions.

Today, representatives of all the main political parties on the island of Ireland will have an exchange of views on Child Protection and on the Ulster Canal. I look forward to hearing these contributions and I welcome the opportunity for continued engagement on these and other areas of mutual interest in the coming years”

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, William Hay, MLA, said “I also welcome today’s opportunity to meet with fellow parliamentarians to have a lively debate on areas that are of interest to all our members. I hope today’s engagement will be both stimulating and informative with many issues raised for future consideration. I have no doubt that this shared dialogue will be beneficial to all those involved and I welcome the opportunity to host the next NSIPA plenary meeting in the Northern Ireland Assembly in the Spring of 2013”.

Note for Editors:
Following a period of consultation between the main parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Oireachtas, it was agreed to establish a parliamentary association, NSIPA, to facilitate regular and direct discussion and engagement with a view to finding ways to address issues of common interest and concern, as envisaged in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and St. Andrews’s Agreements. An Executive Committee has been formed, to agree the format and agendas for future NSIPA Plenary meetings. NSIPA will meet twice annually and comprises of 25 members from the Northern Ireland Assembly and 25 members from the Houses of the Oireachtas.

See full Membership details.