Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (88)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

88. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the number of staff in his Department assigned solely or primarily to work on North-South issues. [21271/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The Britain and Northern Ireland Section forms part of the International, EU and Northern Ireland Division of my Department which is headed by a Second Secretary General.

Within my Department, the Britain and Northern Ireland Section supports me, in my role as Taoiseach, on Northern Ireland matters. The Section also supports me in my contacts with the British Prime Minister more broadly in the context of the role of the two Governments as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement and in the ongoing efforts to secure the restoration of the institutions under the Agreement.

It assists me with my participation in key institutions of the Good Friday Agreement, such as the North South Ministerial Council (when operational),the British Irish Council and in other aspects of cross-border engagement and cooperation and the British Irish Council.

As you would expect, there is close cooperation between my Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which has primary responsibility for matters relating to Northern Ireland, North-South cooperation and British-Irish relations. Officials from the two Departments work very closely together across the range of issues relating to Northern Ireland and British-Irish affairs.

There are currently 10 staff assigned to the Britain and Northern Ireland Section of my Department.