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Deputy Frank Feighan appointed co-Chair of British Irish Parliamentary Assembly

Added 21-Oct-2014

Deputy Frank Feighan TD has been appointed as the new Irish Co-Chair of the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly. The appointment was formally ratified at the Assembly’s 49th Plenary Session, taking place in Ashford in Kent.

He joins Westminster co-Chair Laurence Robertson MP in setting the direction of an Assembly that works to foster links and dialogue between parliamentarians and groups across these islands.

Speaking this morning, Deputy Feighan said: “With the reciprocal state visits of Queen Elizabeth and President Michael D. Higgins, political cooperation across our islands has never been stronger. Of course, the visits have in many ways cemented the close bonds between our peoples for generations. I intend to use my new position to meaningfully harness the goodwill that both visits have generated. It was a particular honour to participate in the Assembly visit to the memorial sites of Flanders yesterday, where we sombrely remembered all those from these islands who fell in World War One.”

“As our economies emerge from the financial crisis of recent years, the Assembly will continue to provide a valuable forum for fruitful exchanges on fostering trade, enterprise and commerce. Trade between the UK and Ireland amounts to approximately one billion euros per week, and supports by some estimates about 400,000 jobs on both sides of the Irish Sea. So I am acutely aware that Britain and Ireland must continue work very closely together at commercial and trade levels to overcome the economic challenges facing our countries.”

“Over the years, the Assembly has played an understated role in bringing about a much better understanding between parliamentarians from London and Dublin. And now it also includes representatives from legislatures from Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. So it is great honour to have been appointed co-Chair and I thank the Members of the Assembly for the confidence they have displayed in me. I look forward to working with my counterpart Laurence Robertson MP through the challenging times ahead.”

Deputy Feighan will continue to work as Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

“I believe there will be great synergy between my work on the Good Friday Agreement Committee in Leinster House and this new role. The securing of peace and stability from the Good Friday Agreement has unleashed significant economic gains for Northern Ireland and the border region. Peace remains fragile and cannot be taken for granted and I will continue to work with my Committee colleagues from both sides of the border to secure the progress of the past 16 years.”

News, speeches, photos, video clips and other material will appear online on www.britishirish.org. through the course of the two days. 

Follow the BIPA twitter channel for updates.



Media enquiries and accreditation requests to:


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London: Jessica Bridges Palmer (++44) 07917 488 489

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