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Taoiseach Simon Harris to address 66th British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly in Co Wicklow

Added 12-Apr-2024

Taoiseach Simon Harris will address the 66th plenary of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) on Monday April 15th.

Download 66th Plenary Schedule

The two-day convention which brings together politicians from legislatures across the UK and Ireland, and the Crown Dependencies, will take place on 15-16 April at Druid’s Glen Hotel in Co Wicklow.

Also addressing the plenary are:

  • Minister of State Thomas Byrne TD;
  • Martin Fraser, Irish Ambassador to Great Britain;
  • Paul Johnston, British Ambassador to Ireland;
  • Alice Mansergh, Chief Executive, Tourism Ireland;
  • Joanne Stuart, Chief Executive Officer, Northern Ireland Tourism Alliance;
  • Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, Chief Executive Officer, Irish Tourism Industry Federation, and; 
  • Gráinne O'Connor, Manager, Cuilcagh Lakelands UNESCO Global Geopark will also address the plenary. 

Formed in 1990, BIPA creates a forum for British and Irish lawmakers to foster closer ties by developing mutual understanding. As relations have improved since the signing of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, it has now expanded activities to make policy proposals on issues of mutual interest to both Governments through the organisation’s four committees.  

Irish Co-Chair Brendan Smith said: “We look forward to welcoming the new Taoiseach Simon Harris, Minister Thomas Byrne, invited speakers and parliamentarians to Co Wicklow for the 66th Plenary meeting of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly."

“This is a timely opportunity to engage with colleagues from a number of legislatures on a range of topics of particular concern across Britain and Ireland at present. This Plenary meeting will have a particular focus on tourism and the benefits of having an open border on the island of Ireland.

“2024 also marks 25 years of North-South cooperation under the provisions of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. With the Agreements’ institutions up and running across three strands, BIPA’s shared focus is on stability, prosperity and strengthening our bi-lateral ties.”

British Co-Chair and head of the UK Parliament delegation, Dame Karen Bradley said, “Friendly bilateral relations between our two nations are an essential ingredient in the shared prosperity of these islands. They allow constructive shared approaches on issues of mutual benefit. One long-standing area of cooperation, the open border on the island of Ireland, presents great opportunities to attract visitors to these islands: policymakers need to continually develop innovative ideas for how all administrations can support communities to make the most of the benefits which tourism brings.”

 “It will be a great honour for the Assembly to be addressed by the new Taoiseach, Simon Harris, so early into his tenure, as he outlines his thoughts on the development of the bilateral relationship under his leadership. It is a mark of the esteem in which the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, and its work in strengthening understanding between parliamentarians, is held.”

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