Minister Flanagan to visit Derry for engagement on the UK-EU Referendum
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, is visiting Derry today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday).
Minister Flanagan will deliver a speech to the Chamber of Commerce, meet SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood and visit An Cultúrlann, which receives grant support from the Reconciliation Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Minister’s visit to Derry follows a series of meetings in Belfast last week.
Speaking ahead of the visit Minister Flanagan said:
“I am pleased to be making my first visit to Derry since my reappointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“I am meeting with SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood to discuss a number of issues from the Stormont House Agreement that need to be progressed, including reaching agreement on the establishment of the institutions for dealing with the legacy of the past. I look forward to working with Colum Eastwood and the SDLP to achieve progress in the months and years ahead on the important issues facing our island North and South.
“I am pleased to have the opportunity to address the city's very active Chamber of Commerce on the Government’s priorities for the North West region. The Programme for Government includes a number of specific commitments in this regard. I will also be setting out the Government’s position on the UK-EU referendum, where the potential implications for Derry and North West region are acute. It is critical that our perspective and our concerns on a possible UK exit from the EU are heard and considered by all voters in Northern Ireland, given the serious implications that a vote to leave would have for the entire island of Ireland.”
Minister Flanagan will also visit Derry’s award winning Irish language and arts centre, An Cultúrlann, a longstanding partner of the Reconciliation Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to discuss their work in promoting the Irish language, arts and culture in Derry and to hear about their outreach work to all in the community.
Minister Flanagan said:
“I look forward to visiting An Cultúrlann, which is an impressive premises in the heart of Derry’s Cultural Quarter, and to hearing more about the very good work being done to promote the Irish language, arts and culture. An Cultúrlann contributes in a very real way to reconciliation by ensuring outreach to all parts of the community and by its work to ensure that the Irish language, arts and culture are avenues of reconciliation rather than division. I am very pleased that grants in support of this work have been awarded to An Cultúrlann by my Department’s Reconciliation Fund.”
Following his engagements in Derry, Minister Flanagan will go to Letterkenny to welcome, on behalf of the Government, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall who visit tomorrow (Wednesday).