Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore meets Dr Richard Haass23 May 2014
The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, TD, today met Dr Richard Haass to discuss developments in the Northern Ireland Party Leaders’ Talks.
Dr Haass, who chaired talks between all parties on flags, parades and dealing with the past last year, is visiting London and Dublin ahead of the resumption of the Party Leaders’ Talks next week.
Speaking after the meeting, the Tánaiste said:
“Last year, under Richard Haass’ chairmanship, the Northern Ireland parties made enormous progress towards reaching an agreement on flags, parades and dealing with the past. During his chairmanship, Richard Haass consulted widely across society in Northern Ireland and took back to the table a clear message from the people that they want to see the party leaders finding new, comprehensive and credible ways of dealing with legacy issues.
“Richard Haass’ visit to Dublin and London this week is timely. With the local and European elections in Northern Ireland now over, the Party Leaders are due to resume their talks next week. On the eve of the renewed talks, I want to send a message of support and solidarity to the party leaders. This is the time for agreement.”
23 May 2014
Notes to the editor
- The Panel of Parties talks on Parades, Flags and Contending with the Past under the Chairmanship of Richard Haass and the Vice-Chairmanship of Meghan O’Sullivan concluded in the early hours of New Year’s Eve, 2013.
- Since January, four of the five political parties in the Executive (the UUP withdrew at the end of March) have been meeting to discuss the next steps, working together with the common goal of reaching a final Agreement as soon as possible.
- The Panel of Parties Talks arose from an initiative by First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness as part of the NI Executive’s “Together: Building a United Community” Strategy aimed at improving community relations and continuing Northern Ireland’s journey towards a more united and reconciled society.