Seventh Annual Report



APPENDIX 3

Work of Committees

Committee A

Committee on Sovereign Matters.

1.  Once again, Committee A found its work necessarily disrupted by a general election, this time in the Irish Republic, and the consequent need to re-establish the Committee in the second part of the year. Nevertheless it met formally on three occasions during the year, twice during plenary sessions and once on a working visit.

2.  In February, the Committee undertook a visit to Belfast to examine progress in the establishment of a new police service for Northern Ireland. The Committee met the Police Ombudsman, Nuala O'Loan, the Deputy Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Colin Cramphorn, and representatives from the Policing Board. The Committee also visited the Police Training College. During the course of the latter visit the Committee had the opportunity to meet and talk to recruits to the new police service.

3.   The Committee met at the Dublin Plenary in March. No further meetings were possible until the Manchester Plenary in November, at which the Committee decided to examine the possibility of a visit to Belfast early next year to examine progress on negotiations to reestablish the suspended institutions.

Attendance at Meetings of Committee A in 2002

Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th February 2002, Belfast: Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD (Chairman), Mr Michael Mates MP (Shadow Chairman), Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, Senator Joe Costello, Lord Dubs, Ms Helen Jackson MP, Mr Tony Killeen TD, Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP.

Tuesday 26 March 2002, Dublin: Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD (Chairman), Mr Michael Mates (Shadow Chair), Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, Lord Dubs, Mr Tony Killeen TD, Mr Andrew Mackinlay, Lord Smith of Clifton.

Tuesday 26th November Manchester: Mr Jim O'Keeffe TD (Chair), Mr Michael Mates MP (Shadow Chair), Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, Senator Brian Hayes, Mr Tony Killeen TD, Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP, Senator Martin Mansergh.


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Committee B: European Affairs

Work of the Committee in 2002

1.  The Committee met twice in 2002, during the Plenary Sessions, and completed one Report.

2.  At the Dublin Plenary in March, the Chairman reported that, in connection with the completion of the inquiry into transport links between Northern Ireland and Britain, he had tried to set up a meeting with the Regional Development Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly (NIA), but without success. Nevertheless, the Committee agreed a short Report summarising the Committee's activities associated with the inquiry. It was agreed that the Chairman draw the Committee's work to the attention of the relevant Westminster select committee, in case that committee wished to pursue any of the issues raised.

3.  At the Manchester Plenary in November, the Chairman reported that, following the meeting in Dublin, he had again tried to obtain evidence from the NIA's Regional Development Committee. The chairman of the NIA committee had been open to the suggestion, but the Unionist members of the committee were not, and in the circumstances the chairman was not inclined to pursue the matter. As the Committee had now been considering the matter for three years, it was agreed that a line should now be drawn under the inquiry. The Committee's report had been raised already with the chairman of the Transport Committee at Westminster, and it was agreed to submit it also to the Transport Committees of the Seanad and of the Dáil, for their information and reference.

4.  The Committee agreed to undertake an inquiry into possible links between the Body and the Nordic Council. Such an inquiry could investigate the links and overlap between the Body and the Council, explore the existing relationship and suggest areas where it could be built on in order to maximise those areas of mutual interest. It was agreed to consider further, at a future date, investigative inquiries into matters which affected UK and Irish interests in Europe, for example, the Convention on the Future of Europe - especially the role of national Parliaments.

Attendance at meetings of Committee B in 2002

Tuesday 26 March 2002, Berkeley Court Hotel, Dublin: Rt Hon Sir Brian Mawhinney MP (in the Chair); Mr Austin Currie TD (Shadow Chair); Mr Seymour Crawford TD; Mr Seán Doherty TD; Mr John Ellis TD; Mr John Griffiths AM; Mr Elfyn Llwyd MP; Mrs Rosemary McKenna CBE MP; Senator Paschal Mooney; Lord Temple-Morris.

Tuesday 26 November 2002, Worsley Park Hotel, Manchester: Rt Hon Sir Brian Mawhinney MP (in the Chair); Mr Seamus Pattison TD (Shadow Chair); Mr Damien English TD; Mr John Griffiths AM; Mr Conor Lenihan TD; Senator Paschal Mooney; Senator Francie O'Brien; Mr John Robertson MP (for Mrs Rosemary McKenna MP).

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Committee C: Economic Committee

Work of the Committee in 2002

1. In 2002 the Committee met on two occasions. Progress on the tourism inquiry was interrupted by the General Election in the Republic of Ireland in May. Subsequently, Irish members were appointed to the Body and its committees in November 2002.

2. During the Plenary session in Dublin on 26 March the Committee agreed to focus its attention on the ports and airports infrastructure on the island of Ireland. Memoranda was sought from relevant bodies.

3. At the Plenary session in Manchester on 26 November the Committee decided to bring the tourism inquiry to a conclusion with a meeting with Bord Failte and Tourism Ireland in Dublin during January 2003. It was expected that a report would be presented via the Steering Committee to the next Plenary session in Kilkenny in March 2003.

Attendance at meetings of Committee C in 2002

Meeting in Dublin, 26 March 2002: Mr William O'Brien MP (Shadow Chair), Mr Harry Barnes MP, Mr Henry Bellingham MP, Mr Andrew Mackay MP, Mr David McLetchie MSP, Dr John Marek AM, Mr David Melding AM, Mr Brian O'Shea TD, Mr Robert Walter MP.

Meeting in Manchester, 26 November 2002: Mr Seamus Kirk TD (Chairman), Mr William O'Brien MP (Shadow Chair), Mr Harry Barnes MP, Mr Jimmy Devins TD, Mr John Ellis TD, Ms Cecilia Keaveney TD, Mr Andrew Mackay MP, Mr Robert Walter MP.

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Committee D: Environmental and Social

Work of the Committee in 2002

In December 2001, during the Plenary Session of the Body in Bournemouth, Committee D decided to conduct a short enquiry into recent developments regarding Sellafield nuclear power station. Accordingly in January the Committee visited Sellafield, and held discussions with the Chief Executive of British Nuclear Fuels, Mr Norman Askew, and with representatives of management and the Trade Unions at the plant. The Committee was shown around the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) and the newly-commissioned Sellafield Mixed Oxide (MOX) Plant. In early March the Committee met again, in London, to discuss the issues with officials from British

Government departments and agencies. After a short meeting in the course of the Dublin Plenary, later the same month, the Committee met again in April to agree a short Report.

The Irish General Election then intervened, and the Committee did not meet again until November, during the Manchester Plenary. The Committee now had new Irish members, including Senator Mary O'Rourke, who replaced Ms Marian McGennis, TD, as Shadow Chair. The Committee discussed future plans, and agreed to undertake an enquiry into waste management. However, in acknowledgement of the on-going and profound concern of Irish members over the Sellafield plant, and in the light of the concerns expressed during the plenary debate on the Committee's Report, it was agreed that a small group, led by Senator O'Rourke, should maintain a watching brief over the issue.

Attendance at meetings of Committee D in 2002

Sellafield, 28 January 2002: Ms Jean Corston MP, Ms Cathie Craigie MSP, Mr Jeff Ennis MP, Mr Brian Hayes TD, Mr Conor Lenihan TD, Mr Barry McElduff MLA, Ms Marian McGennis TD (Shadow Chair), Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Chairman),Mr Iain Smith MSP.

House of Commons, London, 11 March 2002: Mr Jeff Ennis MP, Mr Conor LenihanTD, Ms Marian McGennis TD (Shadow Chair), Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Chairman), Mr Iain Smith MSP.

Berkeley Court Hotel, Dublin, 26 March 2002: Mr John Battle MP, Ms Eleanor Burnham AM, Ms Jean Corston MP, Ms Cathie Craigie MSP, Mr Jeff Ennis MP, Mr Donald Gelling MHK, Dr Dai Lloyd AM, Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Chairman), Mr Chris Ruane MP, Mr Iain Smith MSP.

Dublin, 10 April 2002: Ms Eleanor Burnham AM, Mr Jeff Ennis MP, Mr Brian Hayes TD, Mr Brendan McGahon TD, Ms Marian McGennis TD (Shadow Chair), Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Chairman), Mr Iain Smith MSP

Worsley Park Hotel, Manchester, 26 November 2002: Mr Johnny Brady TD, Ms Eleanor Burnham AM, Mr Jeff Ennis MP, Mr Donald Gelling MHK, Mr Jim Glennon TD, The Lord Glentoran, Senator Joe McHugh, Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Chairman), Mr Arthur Morgan TD, Senator Mary O'Rourke (Shadow Chair), Mr Joe Sherlock TD, Mr Iain Smith MSP


 
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