Oireachtas Committee Chairmen meet Secretary of State Villiers

November 8th, 2012 - Pat Breen

p10500038 November 2012

The Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement Joe McHugh TD and the Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen TD yesterday met with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers MP. Reflecting on the murder of prison officer David Black last week, security issues were central to the discussions.

Ms Villiers assumed her position as Secretary of State earlier in the year and this was her first opportunity to meet with Oireachtas Committee Chairmen.

Deputy McHugh says: “Yesterday we welcomed Secretary of State Villiers on what was her first visit to Leinster House. The killing of David Black last week was roundly condemned and we remain fully resolved to ensure that those responsible would not derail the progress of recent years. I emphasised the importance of not taking the peace process for granted. Politically we must work on behalf of the people, who have the determination and will to work towards a better society on all parts of the island, and to ensure that the Peace Process is a work in progress and not just a given. We spoke in detail of the need for continued cooperation between the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Garda Síochána to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice and wider dissident activity is curbed. Building on fruitful discussions at yesterday’s informal meeting, our Committee pledged to work closely with Secretary of State Villiers into the future.”

The meeting also touched on how economic and trade links can be further enhanced.

Deputy Breen says: “Relations on a North/South and East/West level have never been stronger. At yesterday’s meeting, we re-affirmed our commitment to bolster trade links amid these difficult economic times, which have the potential to bring significant gains to businesses and families across these islands.”