Press Release

North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association Inaugural Meeting

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Friday, 12 October 2012

Reference: AC 01/12/13

The inaugural meeting of the North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association (NSIPA) will take place in the Seanad Chamber, Leinster House today. NSIPA is a parliamentary association with representatives from the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Houses of the Oireachtas. It will meet twice annually on a rotational basis between the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Houses of the Oireachtas to discuss issues of mutual interest to MLAs, TDs and Senators.

This inaugural meeting of the Association will be jointly chaired by the Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett T.D., and the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, William Hay, MLA.

The Ceann Comhairle, Seán Barrett T.D., said “Today is a significant day for the members of the Houses of the Oireachtas and of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association is parliamentarian-led and parliamentarian focussed. It is about building relationships and sharing ideas among members of the two institutions.

Today, representatives of all the main political parties on the island of Ireland will have an exchange of views on Child Protection and on the Ulster Canal. I look forward to hearing these contributions and I welcome the opportunity for continued engagement on these and other areas of mutual interest in the coming years.”

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, William Hay, MLA, said “I also welcome today’s opportunity to meet with fellow parliamentarians to have a lively debate on areas that are of interest to all our members. I hope today’s engagement will be both stimulating and informative with many issues raised for future consideration. I have no doubt that this shared dialogue will be beneficial to all those involved and I welcome the opportunity to host the next NSIPA plenary meeting in the Northern Ireland Assembly in the Spring of 2013”.

Notes to Editors:

Following a period of consultation between the main parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Oireachtas, it was agreed to establish a parliamentary association, NSIPA, to facilitate regular and direct discussion and engagement with a view to finding ways to address issues of common interest and concern, as envisaged in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and St. Andrews’s Agreements. An Executive Committee has been formed, to agree the format and agendas for future NSIPA Plenary meetings. NSIPA will meet twice annually and comprises of 25 members from the Northern Ireland Assembly and 25 members from the Houses of the Oireachtas. Full Membership details below.

North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association

Northern Ireland Assembly

Houses of the Oireachtas

Executive Committee


William Hay, Speaker, MLA (Joint Chair)

Seán Barrett, TD, Ceann Comhairle (Joint Chair)

Peter Weir MLA MLA DUP

Dominic Hannigan TD Labour

Barry McElduff MLA SF

Séamus Kirk TD FF

Leslie Cree MLA MLA UUP

Joe McHugh TD FG

Pat Ramsey MLA SDLP

Thomas Pringle TD Technical Group

Judith Cochrane MLA AP

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD SF




Tom Buchanan MLA DUP

James Bannon TD FG

Sammy Douglas MLA DUP

Pat Breen TD FG

Gordon Dunne MLA DUP

Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy TD FG

Paul Givan MLA DUP

Bernard Durkan TD FG

Brenda Hale MLA DUP

Frank Feighan TD FG

David McEllveen MLA DUP

Heather Humphreys TD FG

Jimmy Spratt MLA DUP

Dan Neville TD FG

James Wells MLA DUP

Senator Terry Brennan FG

Megan Fearon MLA SF

Senator Jim D’Arcy FG

Alex Maskey MLA SF

Michael McNamara TD Labour

Daithi McKay MLA SF

Gerald Nash TD Labour

Mitchel McLaughlin MLA SF

Joanna Tuffy TD Labour

Caral Ní Chuilin MLA SF

Senator Mary Moran Labour

Caitriona Ruane MLA SF

Brendan Smith TD FF

Basil McCrea MLA UUP

Senator Paschal Mooney FF

Sandra Overend MLA UUP

Jonathan Brien TD SF

Joe Byrne MLA SDLP

Finian McGrath TD Technical Group

Alasdair McDonnell MLA SDLP

Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell Ind Group (Taoiseach’s Nominees)

Chris Lyttle MLA AP

Senator Seán Barrett Ind Group (Universities Panel)

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