Trilateral meeting between the Irish & United Kingdom Government and the Northern Ireland Executive21 December 2015
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan T.D. and the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald T.D. met today at Farmleigh, Dublin with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers M.P., Northern Ireland First Minister, Rt. Hon. Peter Robinson MLA, deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MLA and Minister of Justice David Ford MLA.
The meeting fulfills a commitment under A Fresh Start The Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan to hold a trilateral meeting of the Irish and United Kingdom Governments and the Northern Ireland Executive.
Ministers were at one on the need to maintain a priority focus on tackling cross-jurisdictional organised crime, including that linked to paramilitarism, given its insidious and corrosive impact on society.
Ministers were briefed on the current situation by the Garda Commissioner and the PSNI Chief Constable and the meeting focused on the threats presented by organised crime and arrangements for the establishment of a Joint Agency Task Force to tackle cross-jurisdictional organised crime.
Led at a senior management level by An Garda Síochána and the PSNI, the Revenue Commissioners and HM Revenue and Customs, the new interagency task force will bring together the expertise of a range of law enforcement agencies involved in tackling the organised crime gangs that seek to exploit the borders between the jurisdictions.
The new Task Force will intensify and expand current North-South co-operation at both the strategic and operational levels, leveraging the expertise and resources of a range of law enforcement agencies, in order to disrupt and dismantle these gangs and their activities.
The first meeting of the new Task Force is expected to take place next month.
Ministers also discussed the overall implementation of the Fresh Start Agreement. Ministers welcomed the good progress made and committed to maintaining this momentum in order to realise the full benefits of the Agreement.
21 December 2015