Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Review of the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

13.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will outline the progress made to date in the review of the Anglo-Irish Agreement; when the review is likely to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

As Deputy Sherlock is no doubt aware provided for in Article 11 of the Anglo-Irish Agreement is a review of the working of the Anglo-Irish Conference and not of the agreement itself.

The joint statement issued after the intergovernmental conference on 2 November 1988 stated that "both sides recognised the political importance of the review process as an opportunity at the end of three years to undertake a thorough and serious review of the working of the conference under each of the articles of the agreement. They agreed that the main emphasis should be on a positive programme for the future.

Progress on the review has been monitored continuously by the Government and has figured on the agenda of each intergovernmental conference since last November. At the last conference in April, a further extensive exchange of views took place and Ministers noted their intention that the review would be concluded and the results made public at the next meeting of the conference. This remains the position.

I note from a report in one of today's newspapers that it is proposed to publish the results of the review tomorrow. Would the Minister of State confirm that this is the case? In relation to the review, could he indicate what progress has been made or what decisions or conclusions have been drawn on the question of devolved Government? The Taoiseach has indicated in this House that he does not see it as his role to make any comment on that specific issue. Can the Minister of State tell us if a decision has been made on that matter or if there has been any change in the Government's position in relation to it?

I have nothing further to add to what the Taoiseach said here a very short time ago on the question of devolved Government.

May I ask——

A final question, Deputy. We had a very largely similar question earlier.

I am simply reminding the Minister of State that I also asked him if he would indicate that the results of this review are to be published tomorrow as stated in one of the newspapers today?

I cannot vouch for what is or is not stated in the newspapers. The review is still going on.

Can the Minister of State tell the Dáil what the position is?

A Cheann Comhairle——

I want to assist the Deputy but——

About six weeks to two months ago, following the last meeting of the Anglo-Irish Conference, spokesmen for both sides stated that a statement would be published following the next meeting but that meeting has not taken place.

I am awaiting a question, Deputy Kennedy.

I have to fill in the background first. Is the publication of the conclusions of the review imminent or has it been delayed due to the ill health of the Tánaiste?

We are having repetition.

I will repeat what I said: A further extensive exchange of views took place and Ministers noted their intention that the review would be concluded and the results made public at the next meeting of the conference. This remains the position.

A Cheann Comhairle——

Order, please. Question No. 14.

The meeting was due to take place a month ago.

Next question, Question No. 14, please.

As a matter of fact, a week is a very short time.

Let us make progress.

I am sorry, a Cheann Comhairle.