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Northern Ireland

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 29 March 2022

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Questions (160)

Ivana Bacik

Question:

160. Deputy Ivana Bacik asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the Shared Island Dialogue on sport. [16210/22]

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Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The Shared Island Dialogue series is a key part of the Government’s approach to engaging with all communities and political traditions on the island, to build consensus around a shared future, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.

Through the Dialogue series, the Government is listening to people’s views on a range of common concerns, and how we can work for a shared future, in practical, meaningful ways.

We are seeking as broad a range of experience as possible, and ensuring the inclusion of underrepresented voices, particularly of women, young people and ethnic minority communities on the island.

The most recent Shared Island Dialogue was convened by Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, Jack Chambers TD, held at the Sport Ireland campus on 24 February, with in-person and online participation.

The Dialogue brought together over 120 sportspeople, organisations, clubs and community groups to examine the role that sport plays in community relations, and how we enhance sports cooperation on the island.

Former world boxing champion, Barry McGuigan gave a guest address, speaking about his experience over the years and of the power of sport to build trust, relationships and empathy across communities.

Nine Shared Island Dialogues and two roundtable discussions have been held to date, including on: the views of young people on the Good Friday Agreement; climate and environment; civil society cooperation; equality; economic recovery; health; the future of education; and, tourism on the island.

In December, I launched a report by my Department on the first year of the Dialogue series. This highlights the views raised in engagements with over 1,000 civic representatives and sets out how the Government is taking account of their contributions. A copy of the report was sent to every Member of the Oireachtas.

The Dialogue series will continue through this year, focussing on key sectoral issues and on societal concerns for the whole island, including on culture and identity.

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