The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross T.D. and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan TD, hosted All-Island Sectoral Dialogues today Monday 23 January 2017 in the Crowne Plaza, Dundalk.
The morning dialogue was themed “Transport and Logistics” and in the afternoon, Minister of State O’Donovan joined Minister Ross for a dialogue on Tourism and Hospitality.
Speaking today Minister Ross said: “Both transport and tourism are central to the economic and social fabric of the Island of Ireland and my aim is to minimise any negative impacts on society and to look for positive opportunities arising from the UK exit. My objective in holding the All-Island Dialogue was to get viewpoints from stakeholders on the island of Ireland on how the UK decision will affect them and what can be done by both industry and by Government to mitigate these adverse effects.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech last week gave some clarity as to the objectives of the UK in going into the EU negotiations. The Prime Minister highlighted the closeness of the relationship between Britain and Ireland and was explicit that her priorities include maintaining the common travel area and avoiding a return to a hard border with Northern Ireland. The challenge for us all is to see how this can be achieved.”
Minister of State O’Donovan added that “the day was a great opportunity to hear the voices of the people and organisations affected by the outcome of the UK vote, both directly and through their representative groups. It was also an opportunity to map the challenges presented by Brexit and how they might impact on tourism and hospitality providers across the Island of Ireland”.
Representatives of organisations from North and South across all areas of transport and tourism and from civic society were invited and the Minister hosted over 100 attendees at each Dialogue.
The Dialogues are part of the Government’s preparations for the UK exit. The All-Island Civic Dialogue process has been expanded to include 14 sectoral events before the next plenary session of the All-Island Civic Dialogue on 17 February.
The work of Civic Dialogue process to date has reaffirmed the priority issues identified by the Government. These are:
o Minimising impact on trade and the economy
o Protecting the Northern Ireland Peace Process
o Maintaining the Common Travel Area
o Influencing the future of the European Union.