Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (231)

Gerry Adams

Question:

231. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the contacts he has had with the British Prime Minister in relation to securing progress on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. [2328/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The Government remains firmly committed to ensuring the full and effective implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, including the provision relating to a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement sets out that a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland would include rights reflecting the principles of mutual respect for the identity and ethos of both communities and parity of esteem, alongside the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. A Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland drawn up by agreement between the main parties of the Assembly could set out precisely and formally the rights upon which a shared future for the people of Northern Ireland can be based. I would urge all the parties in the Assembly to engage in constructive discussion with a view to reaching agreement on the substance of a Bill of Rights.

In contact with the British administration, we continue to stress the importance of ensuring that a Bill of Rights, for Northern Ireland which takes account of the separate and specific context of Northern Ireland. We will continue to engage with the British Government on this issue, which is one of a number of areas where full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement has yet to be achieved.