25 Samh 2011, 13.15

The Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement heard from the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore, TD on the outcomes of the recent plenary meeting of the North South Ministerial Council on 24 November.

Welcoming the Tánaiste to his first meeting of the Committee in the current Dáil, Chairman Dominic Hannigan, TD said: “This was a dynamic meeting, covering a wide range of topics including property, banking, transport, tourism and human rights.”

“Acknowledging the current fiscal constraints facing the State, we welcome the Tánaiste’s stated support for the A5/A8 road projects. The Committee also raised the issue of funding for the Narrow Water Bridge between Counties Down and Louth and were encouraged that these infrastructural projects will remain priorities as the finances of the State improve.

“Road safety issues remain a concern and we would encourage the North South Ministerial Council to establish mutual recognition of penalty points on both sides of the border without delay.

“Given the shared challenges in the banking and property sectors, the Committee had a productive discussion with the Tánaiste on NAMA. The Committee also agreed to write to the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, TD, on the question of appointing a representative from Northern Ireland to the Board of NAMA.

“We welcome too the Tánaiste’s clear support that the Bill of Rights, one of the last remaining pieces of the Good Friday Agreement, be implemented as soon as possible.  

“The Committee also appreciates the Tánaiste’s willingness to look at increasing the time given in the Dáil to report on North South issues generally.“

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Members of the Committee:
Deputies Seán Conlan,  Seán Crowe, Clare Daly, Regina Doherty, Alan Farrell, Frank Feighan, Martin Ferris, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Dominic Hannigan,  Michael P. Kitt, Joe McHugh, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Joe O’Reilly, Brendan Smith and Joanna Tuffy.
Senators Jim D’Arcy, Maurice Cummins, Martin McAleese, Mary Moran, Mary White.
Chairman: Dominic Hannigan, TD Vice-Chairman: Joe O'Reilly, TD