The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which is based in Strasbourg, can be considered the oldest international parliamentary assembly with a pluralistic composition of democratically elected members of parliament. 

The Council of Europe started with ten member states, which included Ireland and held its first session on 10 August 1949.  The Assembly is one of the two statutory organs of the Council of Europe, which also includes a Committee of Ministers (Ministers for Foreign Affairs), usually meeting at the level of their deputies or Ambassadors.  It now has 46 member states.  The statutory aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity among its members through debates, agreements and common action. 

Irish delegation

The Irish parliamentary delegation to the Assembly comprises four full members and four substitute members.

Full members
Senator Joe O'Reilly * (leader)

Senator Maura Hopkins

Deputy Barry Cowen

Senator Paul Gavan

Substitute members

Deputy Alan Kelly

Deputy Thomas Pringle

Deputy Frances Fitzgerald

Deputy Robert Troy


* Senator Joe O'Reilly was elected one of the Vice Presidents of PACE at the plenary session of 22-26 January 2018 and re-elected for 2019

About the delegates

What do the Irish delegates do?
How are the delegates selected?
Gender balance
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe / Image: Council of Europe

More information

For more information, see the website of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Contact details

Secretary to the Oireachtas delegation
Eileen Lawlor
Inter-parliamentary unit
Houses of the Oireachtas Service
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2
D02 XR20
+353 (0)1 618 3778