As part of its annual visits programme, the European Commission Representation, together with the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland, accompanied fifteen Irish bishops on an information visit to the European Commission and to the European Parliament in Brussels during 10 and 11 November. The group will also include eight support staff and diocesan personnel.
The group will have meetings with First Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr Frans Timmermans, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mr Phil Hogan as well as with senior officials from key services of the Commission and members of the diplomatic service of Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Executive Office, Brussels.
The group will also meet with MEPs from Ireland, North and South, and two of the Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament Ms Mairead McGuinness and Mr Antonio Tajani. Other meetings are scheduled with MEPs Ms Marian Harkin, Mr Lars Adaktusson, Mr Peter Liese, Mr Györgyi Hölvényi and Ms Roberta Metsola.
A broad range of subjects will be discussed including: migration and the refugee crisis, development aid, employment and social affairs, the EU’s regional policy on the island of Ireland, agriculture and rural affairs, Europe’s financial stability, issues related to the UK’s European Union referendum, bioethics, environmental policy and climate change, inter-religious dialogue and freedom of religions and belief.
Notes for Editors
- The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference is also known as the Irish Episcopal Conference.
- The visiting bishops are Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin; Archbishop Kieran O’Reilly SMA of Cashel and Emly; Bishop Brendan Kelly of Achonry; Bishop Liam MacDaid of Clogher; Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert; Bishop William Crean of Cloyne; Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry; Bishop Noël Treanor of Down and Connor; Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore; Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin; Bishop Raymond Browne of Kerry; Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin; Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick; Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan of Waterford and Lismore; and Bishop Raymond Field, Auxiliary Bishop in Dublin. Also travelling are Monsignor Gearóid Dullea, Executive Secretary of the Irish Episcopal Conference (IEC); Dr Nicola Brady of the Council for Justice and Peace of the IEC; Mr Éamonn Meehan, Executive Director of Trócaire; Mr Martin Long, director of the Catholic Communications Office of the IEC; Ms Annette O’Donnell, Communications Director of the Archdiocese of Dublin; Ms Deirdre O’Rawe, Regional Director of Accord Northern Ireland; Ms Eileen Gallagher, member of the Northern Ireland Catholic Council on Social Affairs; and Ms Claire Aiken-Finnegan, Diocese of Down and Connor.
For media contact: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 1727678, Brenda Drumm +353 (0) 87 310 4444 and the Catholic Communications Office in Maynooth, +353 (1) 5053017.