Work of Committees
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
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
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
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.
Committee B: European
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).
Committee C: Economic
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
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.
Committee D: Environmental
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
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
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