Eighth Annual Report



Work of Committees

Committee A
Committee on Sovereign Matters

1.  Committee A met formally as a full Committee on five occasions during the year, three times during plenary sessions and twice on working visits.

2.  In February, the Committee undertook a visit to Belfast to discuss progress on negotiations on the re-establishment of the political institutions. The Committee met representatives of a number of the political parties involved in the negotiations, and others including the Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office, Jane Kennedy MP. The Committee also took the opportunity to meet the recently-appointed Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, Hugh Orde.

3.  Following its meeting at the Kilkenny plenary in March, the Committee decided to repeat its visit of the previous year examining progress in the establishment of a new police service for Northern Ireland. In the course of this visit, which took place in June, the Committee met the Police Ombudsman, Nuala OLoan, and Prof. Desmond Rea (Chairman) and Mr. Denis Bradley (Vice-Chairman) of the Policing Board. It also visited the Police Training College.

4.  At the Kilkenny plenary the Committee was also able to table submit a report on the mutual recognition (between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) of penalty points for driving offences. This report was based on the work of the Committee's rapporteurs, Lord Dubs and Senator Brian Hayes, who had held a number of meetings on the subject. These meetings continued following the Kilkenny plenary session and culminated in the tabling submission of a final report, which was adopted at the Ware plenary session in October. The report's main recommendation was that efforts should be made by the relevant authorities in each jurisdiction to ensure that penalty points could be imposed on drivers committing offences other than in their "home" jurisdiction (i.e. drivers from the Republic speeding in Northern Ireland, and vice versa). A full response is awaited.

5.  At its meeting at the Ware plenary, the Committee decided to visit Belfast in the New Year for further meetings with representatives of the political parties.

Attendance at Meetings of Committee A in 2003

Sunday 2nd and Monday 3rd February 2003, Belfast: Jim O'Keeffe TD (Chairman), Michael Mates MP (Shadow Chairman), Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, Lord Dubs, Tony Killeen TD, Andrew Mackinlay MP, Senator Martin Mansergh, Liz O'Donnell TD, Lord Smith of Clifton.

Tuesday 25th March 2003, Kilkenny: Jim O'Keeffe TD (Chairman), Michael Mates MP (Shadow Chairman), Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, Senator Brian Hayes, Tony Killeen TD, Andrew Mackinlay MP, Senator Martin Mansergh, Lord Smith of Clifton.

Sunday 15th and Monday 16th June 2003, Belfast: Mr Jim O'Keeffe TD (Chairman), Mr Michael Mates MP (Shadow Chairman), Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville CH, Lord Dubs, Ms Helen Jackson MP, Mr Andrew Mackinlay MP, Senator Martin Mansergh, Lord Smith of Clifton.

Monday 20th October 2003, Ware: Jim O'Keeffe TD (Chairman), Michael Mates MP (Shadow Chairman), Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, Lord Dubs, Senator Brian Hayes, Ms Helen Jackson MP, Tony Killeen TD, Andrew Mackinlay MP, Ned O'Keeffe TD, Baroness Harris of Richmond.

Tuesday 21st October 2003, Ware: Jim O'Keeffe TD (Chairman), Michael Mates MP (Shadow Chairman), Lord Dubs, Senator Brian Hayes, Tony Killeen TD, Liz O'Donnell TD, Ned O'Keeffe TD, Baroness Harris of Richmond.

Committee B
Committee on European Affairs

The Committee met four times in 2003, twice during the Body's Plenaries, and twice whilst on visits in connection with our inquiry into Links Between the British-Irish Inter-Parliamentary Body and the Nordic Council. The inquiry dominated the Committee's work during the year; we approved a timetable for it in March, and undertook a series of visits: to the Headquarters of the Nordic Council and to the Danish Parliament in June, to the Finnish Parliament and the Headquarters of the Nordic Investment Bank in September, and to the Norwegian Parliament in December.

As 2003 closed, there was still one more visit to be undertaken, to the Headquarters of the Baltic Assembly, which would take place in January 2004, and we had agreed to meet in London in February in order to agree our report, with the aim of it being debated during the Clonakilty Plenary.

The Committee also agreed on the subject, and timetable, for its next inquiry, A Common European Defence and Foreign Policy. The inquiry would start immediately after the Nordic Council inquiry was concluded (indeed, we agreed that the first evidence session should take place at the same meeting at which we met to agree the Nordic Council report). Evidence sessions, and visits in connection with the inquiry, are to be concluded by autumn 2004, with the report being agreed shortly thereafter.

Attendance at meetings of Committee B in 2003

Monday 24 March, Kilkenny: Rt Hon Andrew Mackay MP (in the Chair); Mr Séamus Pattison TD (Vice-Chairman); Mr Damien English TD; Mrs Margaret Ewing MSP; Mr John Griffiths AM; Mr Conor Lenihan TD; Mr Steve McCabe MP; Mrs Rosemary McKenna MP; Senator Paschal Mooney; Senator Francie O'Brien.

Monday 16 June, Copenhagen: Rt Hon Andrew Mackay MP (in the Chair); Mr Séamus Pattison TD (Vice-Chairman); Mr Tony Colman MP (for Mrs Rosemary McKenna MP); Mr Damien English TD; Mr Conor Lenihan TD; Senator Paschal Mooney; Senator Francie O'Brien.

Tuesday 21 October, Ware: Rt Hon Andrew Mackay MP (in the Chair); Mr Séamus Pattison TD (Vice-Chairman); Mrs Margaret Ewing MSP; Mr Mike German AM; Mr John Griffiths AM; Baroness Harris of Richmond (for Mr Elfyn Llwyd MP); Senator Paschal Mooney; Senator Francie O'Brien; Senator Ann Ormonde (for Mr Conor Lenihan TD).

Monday 8 December, Oslo: Rt Hon Andrew Mackay MP (in the Chair); Mr Séamus Pattison TD (Vice-Chairman); Mr Tony Colman MP (for Mrs Rosemary McKenna MP); Mrs Margaret Ewing MSP; Mr Mike German AM; Baroness Harris of Richmond (for Mr Elfyn Llwyd MP); Senator Paschal Mooney; Senator Francie O'Brien.

Committee C
Committee on Economic Affairs

Committee C

Committee on Economic Affairs

1.  Committee C met formally as a full Committee on five occasions during the year, twice during plenary sessions, twice in Committee working on report, and once on working visits.

2.  In January, the Committee met in Dublin to hear presentations from tourism promotion agencies in respect of its ongoing inquiry into tourism. The meeting was addressed by Mr. Ciarán Tuite of Bord Fáilte and Mr. Paul O'Toole, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland Ltd. In February Committee C met again in Dublin to finalise and formally adopt its report on tourism.

3.  Following the tabling of its report on tourism at the Kilkenny plenary in March, which debated and formally adopted the report, the Committee at its meeting in Kilkenny decided to conduct a new inquiry into health service delivery with particular emphasis on delivery of services to populations in regional or peripheral areas.

4.  In May, the Committee made a working visit to the Isle of Man, arranged with the assistance of Mr. Donald Gelling CBE MLC. The Committee met with the Minister for Health, the Hon. Clare Christian , the speaker of the House of Keys the Hon. Tony Brown SHK as well as health service staff and senior executives of the health service. The Committee visited the new acute hospital in Douglas and the Southlands Health Complex in the south of the island.

5.  At its meeting at the Ware plenary, the Committee decided to continue its inquiry into delivery of health services with visits to Wales and Scotland.


Attendance at Meetings of Committee C in 2003

  

20 January 2003: Dublin Seamus Kirk TD (Chairman), Bill O'Brien MP (Shadow Chairman), Harry Barnes MP, Jerry Cowley TD, Seymour Crawford TD, Jimmy Devins TD, John Ellis TD, Cecilia Keaveney TD, Andrew McKay MP, Robert Walter MP

February 2003: Dublin Seamus Kirk TD (Chairman), Bill O'Brien MP (Shadow Chairman), Harry Barnes MP, Jerry Cowley TD, Seymour Crawford TD, Jimmy Devins TD, John Ellis TD, Cecilia Keaveney TD, Andrew McKay MP, Robert Walter MP

25 March 2003: Kilkenny Seamus Kirk TD (Chairman), Bill O'Brien MP (Shadow Chairman), Harry Barnes MP, Jerry Cowley TD, Seymour Crawford TD, Jimmy Devins TD, John Ellis TD, Cecilia Keaveney TD, Dr. Brian Gibbons AM, Joe Benton MP, Robert Walter MP

11-12 May 2003: Isle of Man Bill O'Brien MP (Shadow Chairman), Harry Barnes MP, Jerry Cowley TD, Seymour Crawford TD, Jimmy Devins TD, John Ellis TD, Cecilia Keaveney TD.

21 October 2003: Ware Seamus Kirk TD (Chairman), Bill O'Brien MP (Shadow Chairman), Harry Barnes MP, Jerry Cowley TD, Seymour Crawford TD, Jimmy Devins TD, John Ellis TD, Cecilia Keaveney TD, Joe Benton MP, Robert Walter MP.

Committee D: Environmental and Social Committee

Over the past year Committee D have had two main streams of work: Waste management and Sellafield.

Waste management

The Committee visited Guernsey and the Isle of Man to look at how they were dealing with the problem of limited landfill resources. The Committee learned that both islands were turning to Energy from Waste plants as an alternative to landfilling waste. The next steps planned for this enquiry are a visit to the European Commission in Brussels in order to clarify the ways in which different Member States are going about meeting the EU landfill targets. The Committee also plan to write to the Sovereign Governments and devolved administrations in order to find out more about their waste management strategies.

Sellafield

In March 2003, during the Plenary Session of the Body in Kilkenny, and following a short debate on the Committee's report Sellafield: an Update, the Committee appointed Senator Mary O'Rourke and Mr Jeff Ennis as rapporteurs to keep a watching brief on Sellafield. The Committee visited Sellafield shortly thereafter, and also held discussions in Guernsey, France and the Isle of Man on nuclear reprocessing and the handling of discharges and waste. Conclusions were summarised in a short follow-up report, Sellafield: Recent Developments, which was debated at the Plenary Session in Ware in October 2003. The report focused on reprocessing at Sellafeld, and the ways in which waste was dealt with either by vitrification or return to its owners. The report also addressed information exchange between officials on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Attendance at meetings of Committee D in 2003

Sellafield, 10 March 2003: Jim Glennon TD; Kevin McNamara MP(Chair); and Senator Mary O'Rourke(Co-Chair).

Kilkenny, 24th March 2003: Kevin McNamara MP(Chair); Senator Mary O'Rourke (Co-Chair); Mr Johnny Brady TD; Mr Alistair Carmichael MP; Mr Jeff Ennis MP; Mr Donald J Gelling CBE MLC; The Lord Glentoran; Mr Arthur Morgan TD; Mr Joe Sherlock TD; and Lord Temple-Morris.

Guernsey and Cogema la Hague, 7-8 July 2003: Kevin McNamara MP(Chair); Senator Mary O'Rourke(Co-Chair).Deputy Roger Berry; Jeff Ennis MP; Deputy John Langlois; and Arthur Morgan TD, Mr Conor Lenihan, Ms Marian McGennis TD (Co-Chair), Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Chairman), 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 (Co-Chair), Mr Kevin McNamara MP (Chairman), Mr Iain Smith


 
previous page contents next page