As well as building better links between the Assembly and the Dail, the visit also gave Mr Ford the opportunity to update the Tánaiste on the work Alliance is doing to build an integrated community. The group will also meet with Fianna Fail representatives.
David Ford said: “The Alliance Party has a positive working relationship with the political parties in Dublin. Both the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste have been guest speakers at Alliance Party conferences, and a number of senior TDs from Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail have also attended in recent years. I hope that my meetings will ensure our parties continue to enjoy good relations.
“As Minister of Justice I have also worked closely with my counterpart, Alan Shatter TD. We have shown what can be achieved through closer North South Co-operation, including on traditionally difficult issues.
“While there will continue to be different constitutional aspirations, it is in the interests of everyone on the island to maximise co-operation on economic and social matters. The new North South Inter Parliamentary Association for MLAs and TDs will hopefully facilitate an exchange of ideas that could lead to further projects being agreed.
“The visit is also a useful opportunity to highlight the work of the Alliance Party towards building an integrated community, and adds to the informative meeting I had with the Taoiseach some weeks ago.
“I hope that by continuing to improve the relations between the Assembly and Dail we can see greater benefits for both Northern Ireland and the Republic.”