Third Annual Report



APPENDIX 3
Third Annual Report

Work of Committees

Committee A

Political and Security

1.  Committee A's activities during 1998 were largely dictated by the pace of political developments throughout the year. It was agreed that it was not practical to produce full Reports on specific inquiries and the Committee instead took on a general monitoring role. The Committee met formally on five occasions, three times as part of working visits and twice during plenary sessions.

2.  The Committee visited Belfast, Armagh and Monaghan in February to look at policing issues and possible steps towards reducing or relaxing security measures in response to the changes in the security situation; the Committee received detailed briefings from the security forces on both sides of the border. This was followed by a further visit to Belfast in May to discuss the issue of parades with the Chairman, Mr Alastair Graham, and other members of the Parades Commission. The Committee also corresponded with both Governments about the status of 'paramilitary' prisoners. The Committee ended the year with a meeting in London in December to discuss the work of the Independent Commission on Policing with its Chairman, Mr Chris Patten, and with other members.

3.  The Committee plans to visit Belfast early in 1999 to discuss decommissioning and demilitarisation with relevant bodies.

Attendance at Meetings of Committee A in 1998

Meeting in Ballymacscanlon, 2 February 1998:

Mr Charles Flanagan TD (Chairman), Dr Norman Godman MP (Vice-Chairman), Rt Hon Peter Brooke MP, Mr Dennis Canavan MP, Senator Joe Costello, Senator Helen Keogh, Mr Tony Killeen TD, Mr Michael Mates MP, Mr Dinny McGinley TD, Dr Rory O'Hanlon TD

Meeting in Dublin, 15 May 1998:

Mr Charles Flanagan TD (Chairman), Dr Norman Godman MP (Vice-Chairman), Rt Hon Peter Brooke MP, Mr Dennis Canavan MP, Senator Joe Costello, Lord Holme of Cheltenham, Senator Helen Keogh, Mr Michael Mates MP, Mr Dinny McGinley TD, Dr Rory O'Hanlon TD

Meeting in Belfast, 29 May 1998:

Mr Charles Flanagan TD (Chairman), Dr Norman Godman MP (Vice-Chairman), Lord Alderdice (substitute), Rt Hon Peter Brooke MP, Mr Dennis Canavan MP, Senator Helen Keogh, Mr Tony Killeen TD, Mr Seamus Mallon MP, Mr Michael Mates MP, Dr Rory O'Hanlon TD

Meeting in York, 22 September 1998:

Mr Charles Flanagan TD (Chairman), Mr Dennis Canavan MP, Senator Joe Costello, Lord Glentoran (substitute), Senator Helen Keogh, Mr Tony Killeen TD, Mr Michael Mates MP, Mr Dinny McGinley TD, Dr Rory O'Hanlon TD

Meeting in London, 14 December 1998:

Mr Charles Flanagan TD (Chairman), Dr Norman Godman MP (Vice-Chairman), Rt Hon Peter Brooke MP, Senator Joe Costello, Lord Glentoran (substitute), Lord Holme of Cheltenham, Senator Helen Keogh, Mr Dinny McGinley TD, Dr Rory O'Hanlon TD

The following Members attended an inquorate meeting at the Slieve Russell Hotel, 31 March 1998:

Mr Charles Flanagan TD (Chairman), Senator Joe Costello, Senator Helen Keogh, Mr Tony Killeen TD, Mr Michael Mates MP, Dr Rory O'Hanlon TD, Lord Glentoran (observer)



Committee B

European and International Affairs

1.  During 1998 Committee B held five meetings (two in Ireland and three in Britain) and completed one report.

2.  In January the Committee announced the terms of reference for its inquiry into EU and International Involvement in the Northern Ireland Peace Process and invited written submissions. In connection with this inquiry the Committee visited Dublin on 19 and 20 February. The Committee held meetings with the First Secretary (Political) at the US Embassy, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the British Ambassador.

3.  The Committee met in London on 12 and 13 March and held meetings related to the inquiry with officials from the Northern Ireland Office, the Chairman and Joint Directors General of the International Fund for Ireland, a representative of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Director of the Finnish Institute in London, and Mr Simon Partridge, a political analyst. The Northern Ireland Office officials were requested to supply information on the extent to which recommendations in the Committee's previous reports on the EU Peace and Reconciliation Programme and INTERREG had been adopted. On this occasion the Committee also held a meeting with General John de Chastelain, one of the Independent Chairmen of Talks, to discuss issues relating to arms decommissioning.

4.  On 31 March the Committee met at the Plenary in Co. Cavan, and further discussed their current inquiry. It was agreed that final decisions on the detail of the inquiry could only be taken when the outcome of the current peace negotiations was known, and in particular the extent of any proposals for international involvement in securing a settlement and monitoring its implementation. Following the May referendums, the Clerk wrote to all previous witnesses seeking further comments, asking in particular about what they expected their future role in the process to be.

5.  On 31 July the Committee met at Westminster and agreed its report, which was subsequently debated at the Plenary held in York on 21-23 September.

6.  On 22 September the Committee met and decided that its next inquiry would be into the consequences of reform of the Common Agricultural Policy for Northern Ireland and the border counties, with the following terms of reference:

"the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (Agenda 2000), with particular reference to the impact of the enlargement of the European Union, Economic and Monetary Union, and regional policy on the rural economies of the island of Ireland."

7.  Written evidence has been received; and the Committee hopes to hold at least one oral evidence session before the March Plenary, with a view to producing a report later in 1999.

Attendance at Meetings of Committee B in 1998

Meeting in Dublin, 20 February 1998:

Mr Michael Colvin MP (Chairman), Mr Austin Currie TD (Vice-Chairman), Mr Harry Barnes MP, Ms Mary Coughlan TD, Mr Seymour Crawford TD, Mr John Ellis TD, Senator Mary Henry, Mr Robert Jackson MP.

Meeting in London, 12 March 1998:

Mr Michael Colvin MP (Chairman), Mr Austin Currie TD (Vice-Chairman), Mr Harry Barnes MP, Mr Gerry Bermingham MP, Ms Mary Coughlan TD, Mr Seymour Crawford TD, Mr John Ellis TD, Senator Mary Henry, Mr John Home Robertson MP, Mr Peter Temple-Morris MP.

Meeting in Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan, 31 March 1998:

Mr Michael Colvin MP (Chairman), Mr Harry Barnes MP, Ms Mary Coughlan TD, Mr Seymour Crawford TD, Mr John Ellis TD, Senator Mary Henry, Mr John Home Robertson MP, Senator Paschal Mooney, Mr Peter Temple-Morris MP.

Meeting in London, 31 July 1998:

Mr Michael Colvin MP (Chairman), Mr Austin Currie TD (Vice-Chairman), Mr Seymour Crawford TD, Mr John Ellis TD, Senator Paschal Mooney, Margaret Moran MP (substitute), Mr Peter Temple-Morris MP.

Meeting in York, 22 September 1998:

Mr Michael Colvin MP (Chairman), Mr Austin Currie TD (Vice-Chairman), Mr Gerry Bermingham MP, Ms Mary Coughlan TD, Mr Seymour Crawford TD, Mr John Ellis TD, Senator Mary Henry, Mr John Home Robertson MP, Mr Peter Temple-Morris MP, Mr Robert Walter (substitute).



Committee C

Economic and Social Affairs

1.  In 1998 the Committee met on five occasions, made two visits to Ireland, North and South, and completed one Report.

2.  The Committee met in Dublin on 25 February in connection with its inquiry into Road and Rail Links for the island of Ireland. This was the Committee's first meeting on the subject and evidence was taken from three cross-border groups representing local authorities in both jurisdictions, IBEC and CBI (Northern Ireland), The National Roads Authority, Irish Rail, and Professor Austin Smith of the University of Ulster.

3.  At the Slieve Russell, Co. Cavan, plenary the Committee held a meeting to plan progress on its current inquiry and consider possible subjects for future study.

4.  On 2 June the Committee gathered in Dublin and then travelled by "Enterprise" rail service to Belfast. Meetings were held in Belfast with Lord Dubs and officials of the Department of the Environment, Irish Rail and Translink/NITHC, and with the Women's Coalition. The Committee later travelled to Derry and Omagh to complete its programme of evidence taking with meetings with Derry City Council, Omagh District Council and further meetings with cross-border groups.

5.  On 7 July the Committee met in Dublin to agree its report on Road and Rail Links for the island of Ireland.  

6.  At the York Plenary on 22 September the Committee's report on Road and Rail Links for the island of Ireland was debated. A response to the report by the British Government was received on 7 November. At the Committee's meeting in York it was decided that "The future for small farms in the rural economy" should be the subject for the next inquiry. Evidence taking was to begin in December but a variety of factors led to the postponement of that meeting.

Attendance at meetings of Committee C in 1998

Meeting in Dublin, 25 February 1998:

Mr Séamus Kirk TD (Chairman), Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Vice-Chairman), Lord Blease, Mr Andrew Boylan TD, Ms Maria Fyfe MP, Mr Brian O'Shea TD, Lord Rathcavan, Mr Michael Ring TD, Mr Brendan Smith TD

Meeting in, Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan, 31 March 1998:

Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Vice-Chairman), Mr Andrew Boylan TD, Senator Paddy McGowan, Mr Brian O'Shea TD, Lord Rathcavan, Mr Michael Ring TD, Mr Brendan Smith TD:

Visit to Dublin, Belfast, Derry and Omagh, 2 and 3 June 1998:

Mr Séamus Kirk TD (Chairman), Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Vice-Chairman), Mr Joe Benton MP, Lord Blease, Mr Andrew Boylan TD, Ms Maria Fyfe MP, Senator Paddy McGowan, Mr Brian O'Shea TD, Lord Rathcavan, Mr Michael Ring TD, Mr Brendan Smith TD.

Meeting in Dublin, 7 July 1998:

Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Vice-Chairman), Mr Joe Benton MP, Lord Blease, Mr Andrew Boylan TD, Ms Maria Fyfe MP, Mr Brian O'Shea TD, Mr Michael Ring TD, Mr Brendan Smith TD

Meeting in York, 22 September 1998:

Mr Séamus Kirk TD (Chairman), Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Vice-Chairman), Mr Joe Benton MP, Lord Blease, Mr Andrew Boylan TD, Ms Maria Fyfe MP, Mr Brian O'Shea TD, Lord Rathcavan, Mr Michael Ring TD, Mr Brendan Smith TD.



Committee D

Culture, Education and the Environment

1.  Since February 1998, Committee D has been conducting an inquiry into Education and Inter-Community relations. This inquiry follows the Committee's 1995 report on the same subject and investigates the development of integrated education, education for mutual understanding (EMU) and the development of teaching in the medium of Irish.

2.  During the inquiry the Committee has visited Dublin and made two visits to Belfast to meet the Ministers for Education and officials in the Republic and the North. The Committee has also held meetings with representatives of the teaching profession, pupils and parents on both sides of the border, representatives of the Gaelscoileanna movement, the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE), the Irish National Council for Curriculum Assessment and with representatives of the Catholic and Protestant Churches.

Attendance at meetings of Committee D in 1998

Meeting in Dublin, 18 February 1998:

Mr Roger Stott CBE MP (Chairman), Ms Marian McGennis TD (Vice-Chairman), Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD, Mr Conor Lenihan TD, Mr Brendan McGahon TD, Mr William O'Brien MP,

Visit to Belfast, 22-24 March 1998:

Mr Roger Stott CBE MP (Chairman), Ms Marian McGennis TD (Vice-Chairman), Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD, Mr Conor Lenihan TD, Mr Brendan McGahon TD, Mr William O'Brien MP

Meeting in Ballyconnell, Co.Cavan, 31 March 1998:

Mr Roger Stott CBE MP (Chairman), Ms Marian McGennis TD, Mr Conor Lenihan TD, Lord Merlyn- Rees, Mr Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Meeting in Dublin, 13-14 May 1998:

Mr Roger Stott CBE MP (Chairman), Ms Marian McGennis TD (Vice-Chairman), Mr Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Jean Corston MP (substitute), Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD, Mr Conor Lenihan TD, Mr Brendan McGahon TD, Lord Merlyn-Rees, Mr William O'Brien MP

Meeting inYork, 22 September 1998:

Mr Roger Stott CBE MP (Chairman), Mr Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Jean Corston MP (substitute), Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD, Mr Sean Doherty TD (substitute), Mr Conor Lenihan TD, Mr Brendan McGahon TD, Lord Merlyn-Rees, Mr William O'Brien MP, Mr David Tredinnick MP (substitute)

The following Members attended an inquorate meeting in Belfast, 11-13 November 1998:

Mr Roger Stott CBE MP (Chairman), Ms Marian McGennis TD (Vice-Chairman), MrJimmy Deenihan TD, Mr Conor Lenihan TD, Mr Brendan McGahon TD


 
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