The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mr. Miguel Angel Martinez, earlier this year invited the Taoiseach to address the Parliamentary Assembly in January 1996. The Taoiseach has accepted this invitation. The Taoiseach is scheduled to address the Assembly on Thursday, 25 January 1996. This will be the first address by a serving Taoiseach since Seán Lemass addressed the Assembly in 1966.
The Deputy will appreciate that at this juncture the Taoiseach is not in a position to state precisely the issues he intends to deal with in his address. He does, however, envisage that his address will deal with the role and achievements of and the challenges facing the Council of Europe. In this context he expects that he will have some comments to make on issues to be discussed at the Council's January Parliamentary session. He also anticipates that he will address some of the key issues currently facing Europe. Finally the occasion may well be a suitable one to speak of issues which relate more specifically to Ireland.
The Taoiseach will be available to answer questions at the end of his address as is the normal procedure when Heads of Government address the Parliamentary Assembly.