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Clarification on Protecting the Common Travel Area Report

Added 5-Dec-2023


The Steering Committee of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) wishes to clarify an issue arising from the recent BIPA report, Protecting the Common Travel Area in the post-Brexit era


For the amended report, click here.


The report was debated and adopted by the Assembly, a body made up of legislators from the parliaments and assemblies of Ireland, the UK and the Crown Dependencies, on 24 October 2023 during its 65th plenary sitting in Straffan, Co. Kildare.

A paragraph in the report sought to reflect a claim made to BIPA’s Committee on Sovereign Matters about an instance in October 2022 where individuals were said not to have been able to attend the site of the Creeslough tragedy in Co. Donegal as the appropriate visas were not held. As a result of a drafting error the paragraph referred to “ambulances” not attending.  Based on the evidence given to the Committee, the reference should have been to “paramedics” being affected.

BIPA’s Committee on Sovereign Matters has now updated its report to correct the drafting error and to acknowledge the subsequent statement published by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service that its response to Creeslough was not affected in any way by border or visa issues.

In presenting the Committee’s report to the Assembly on 24 October 2023, and in her subsequent media interviews, the Chair of the Committee, Senator Emer Currie, reflected in good faith the content of the report, as did subsequent media reports including those by The Irish Times.

The BIPA Steering Committee has adopted the revised report on behalf of the Assembly. The Committee wishes to apologise for any confusion that may have arisen.

Furthermore the Steering Committee, on behalf of BIPA, again extends the Assembly’s sincere thanks and appreciation to members of all the ambulance services and other emergency services which attended the Creeslough tragedy. BIPA appreciates the professionalism and dedication to duty of these services and their commitment to providing the swiftest possible response and the best possible care to all who require their assistance.


Note to editors:

The following change has been made to the report.

Page 9, paragraph 3.4.:   

Delete: ‘’An example of this issue was highlighted to the Committee. In October 2022, some ambulances from Northern Ireland could not assist during the explosion that occurred in Cresslough, Co. Donegal because not all of the paramedics had the necessary visas to cross the invisible border.”

Insert: ‘’The Committee heard evidence of an example where in October 2022 paramedics from Northern Ireland could not assist during the explosion that occurred in Creeslough, Co. Donegal because they did not have the necessary visas to cross the invisible border. The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) has stated[1] that their services were not impacted and that their response to Creeslough was not affected in any way due to border or visa issues.‘’


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