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Minister Flanagan meets with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland


Minister Flanagan meets with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, met in Dublin today with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers MP. This was their first meeting since Theresa Villiers’ re-appointment as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland following the recent Westminster elections.

Speaking following the meeting, Minister Flanagan said:

"Today was an opportunity for me to congratulate Theresa in person on her re-appointment as Secretary of State. It was an opportunity also for the Secretary of State and me to discuss the current political impasse within the Northern Ireland Executive. Our shared aim is to support the parties with a view to seeing the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement get back on track. Political stasis in Northern Ireland benefits no-one.

"The meeting provided an opportunity also to set out at this early point in the British Government’s new term in office a number of long-standing issues on which there is an opportunity now to make progress. I reminded the Secretary of State of previous commitments made to look afresh at what the British Government could do to respond to the Dáil motions in relation to the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. I also briefed her on my meeting with Justice for the Forgotten last Friday on the eve of ceremonies in Dublin to mark the 41st anniversary of the bombings.

"We also discussed the Pat Finucane case. I made clear that the Irish Government considers there was a political commitment made at the highest level by both Governments at Weston Park in 2001 in relation to the holding of public inquiries in a number of controversial cases and that this commitment remains unfulfilled in the case of Pat Finucane.

"I also outlined, as I had in the Seanad last week, the Irish Government’s serious concerns in relation to any proposal to replace the 1998 UK Human Rights Act without taking account of the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement. The UK Human Rights Act of 1998 was the means of satisfying the obligation of the British Government arising from the Good Friday Agreement that the European Convention on Human Rights would be incorporated into Northern Ireland law.

"The Secretary of State and I also discussed and welcomed the visit this week of TRH the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to Ireland and Northern Ireland. I believe the visit will serve as a further contribution to building peace and reconciliation on this island and look forward to my engagement with the programme in Sligo tomorrow."


Press Office

19 May 2015