Minister Flanagan visits Belfast for meetings with political community18 May 2016
Minister Flanagan to visit Belfast for meetings with political community and sports representatives
Minister to meet deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Assembly Speaker Robin Newton, Victims Commissioner Judith Thompson, UN Special Rapporteur Pablo de Greiff, Ardoyne community representatives and the IFA President Jim Shaw.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan TD, will visit Belfast today (Wednesday, May 18). This is the first visit to Northern Ireland by Minister Flanagan following his re-appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. He will undertake a series of meetings with political, community and sports representatives.
Minister Flanagan said:
“I am meeting with the newly appointed Speaker of the Assembly and with the recently reappointed deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland tomorrow. I look forward to working with them both in the months and years ahead on the important issues facing our island North and South including the full implementation of the Fresh Start Agreement.
"I will hold discussions with the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors and UN Special Rapporteur de Greiff on how we can progress an agreement on establishment of the legacy institutions, which are provided for under the Stormont House Agreement. Following the recent Assembly elections, it is very important that the outstanding issues can be progressed and an agreement reached on legacy issues. This will allow victims and survivors, and society as a whole, to begin the process of fully addressing the legacy of the past. An agreement will also enable political and other institutions in Northern Ireland to move on and give their full attention and resources to current issues. I will also meet with the Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Mr. Les Allamby.
"During my visit, I will also put forward the Government’s position on the UK-EU Referendum and our priorities in the new Programme for Government, which has detailed commitments in relation to Northern Ireland. It is critical that our unique perspective and our concerns on a possible UK exit from the EU are heard and considered by all voters in Northern Ireland, given the serious implications that a vote to leave would have.
"I am also meeting with representatives of the Ardoyne community to hear their difficult experience in recent weeks and to make clear the Government’s solidarity with and support for all communities that are being afflicted by dissident violence, which cannot be tolerated.
"I look forward to also meeting with Mr. Jim Shaw the President of the Irish Football Association ahead of the hugely positive occasion of participation by both the Ireland and Northern Ireland teams in the Euro2016 championships, for which tens of thousands of fans will travel in support next month.”
18 May 2016