19/10/2010

Rathlin Venue For Cross Border Meeting

There has been a cross-border executive meeting with a difference - offshore in one of Ireland's dwindling number of inhabited islands.

The Stormont Minister for Regional Development Conor Murphy warmly welcomed Minister Pat Carey, the Dáil TD, to Rathlin Island on Saturday.

As Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Minister Carey has responsibility for off shore islands in the south, of which around 30 are inhabited.

Commenting on island life and meeting Minister Carey on Rathlin, Conor Murphy said: "Islanders live in some of the most beautiful and inspiring parts of Ireland, but they must also deal with the unique challenges of island life. Since coming into office I have been committed to improving island life and the services available to those on Rathlin.
News Image
"In July last year I visited Inis Oírr in the Aran Islands off the Galway Coast to see first hand how the islanders there have developed socio-economic activities to sustain their island community, and so I welcome this opportunity to meet with Minister Carey on Rathlin to share with him our local experiences about how government can help island communities to maintain and develop island life," he said.

Minister Murphy added: "The Executive's policy for Rathlin Island seeks to improve the conditions of all people on this island while also protecting its natural and cultural heritage.

"My Department has been in the lead in developing the Action Plan to implement the Executive policy. To achieve success we need to work together with the islanders and other interested parties to help build a vibrant and sustainable community," he said.

During their visit the Ministers had time to discuss the recent Small Ferries project, a unique European INTERREG funded study undertaken to establish the best way to design, build and procure a replacement fleet of small ferries to deliver lifeline ferry services for island and other geographically remote communities off the Irish and Scottish coastlines.

Speaking about this Minister Murphy said: "The Small Ferries Project has demonstrated that there are opportunities for public bodies across these islands to join together to address issues that are common to them all.

"I am now considering the recommendations of the Small Ferries Project report which I received recently," he said.

(BMcC/GK)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 February 2020
Small Businesses Unite Against TV 'Scam'
Some 200 small local businesses have alleged they were mis-sold plasma TV screens in an advertising "scam".
14 January 2020
Justice Minister Condemns West Belfast Shooting
Justice Minister Naomi Long has demanded an end to paramilitary style attacks in the wake of a shooting in west Belfast that left a man with life changing injuries. An incident in the Burnaby Walk area at around 6pm on Monday 13 January left a 39 year-old man with gunshot wounds to his knee and ankle.
07 February 2020
Minister Swann Meets Families Bereaved By Suicide
Health Minister Robin Swann has met with families in north Belfast who have lost loved ones through suicide. Held at the Houben Centre on Thursday, the meeting was a chance for the Minister to hear first-hand the loss suffered by local people and their thoughts on the services and support available.
15 January 2020
Communities Minister: Casement Park Is A Key Priority
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has identified the completion of Casement Park as a "key priority" for her department. Deirdre Hargey MLA met with Ulster GAA officials at the west Belfast site to discuss furthering the project. Minister Hargey said she is determined to see the project started as soon as possible.
20 July 2009
Rathlin Gets Speedy Link
A new express ferry service to one of Ireland's few remaining inhabited islands has been making a splash today. The Rathlin Express Catamaran arrived at the island's harbour with 100 passengers for the first time today.