British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly 63rd Plenary schedule 

Watch live from 09.30 on Twitter (@BritishIrishPA) or the NI Assembly website.

The 63rd Plenary of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) will begin in the Parliament Buildings in Stormont, Belfast, tomorrow to mark the 25th anniversary year of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. 

The special session of British and Irish lawmakers will be addressed by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Sir John Holmes. Sir John was Principal Private Secretary to Sir John Major, who helped establish the text of the deal, and Tony Blair who signed the Agreement alongside Ahern. Sir John Holmes was knighted for his services to peace in Northern Ireland. Both will speak to the significance of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement and its enduring importance. 

They will then take Q&A from an audience consisting of members of both houses of Oireachtas and Parliament, the devolved legislatures, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories.

Women’s Coalition members Kate Fearon, Bronagh Hinds, Dr Avila Kilmurray and Jane Morrice will then take part in a discussion hosted by British Vice-Chair Karin Smyth.

Dr Jonny Byrne of Ulster University’s School of Criminology will address the forum on policing under Agreement.

The United Kingdom’s Co-Chair to BIPA Karen Bradley MP said, “I want to welcome all our friends from across the island of Ireland, the British Isles and even further afield. This plenary, only our second in Belfast, would not have been possible without the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement which we are gathering to mark.” 

“The historic importance of the Agreement cannot be understated. It has provided an enduring peace that though at times fragile, remains uncontested. We want the relations built here between to help contribute to that process.”

Brendan Smith TD, the Irish Co-Chair, said, “I’m grateful to be able to bring my Irish colleagues to Belfast to mark a quarter of a century of peace brought about by the Agreement.”

“Coming together is a reminder that we cannot take the advances made for granted and that we must do all we can to strengthen bi-lateral ties.”  

BIPA meets twice a year studying areas of mutual interest of the UK and Ireland to identify areas of cooperation while strengthening the bonds of friendship between the two countries. 

Notes to Editors

You will find a full business programme attached to this email.

Plenary details:

Date: Monday 6 March

Time: From 09.30

Place: Stormont Parliament Buildings, Belfast

Press access: Proceedings from the Assembly Chamber will be streamed live here. Press can view the plenary from the Press Gallery in Parliament Buildings.

Footage requests: Footage of proceedings or any part of the plenary can be obtained by emailing sound& with time stamps of the clipping. 

Pictures stills: No cameras will be allowed in the Chamber or the gallery apart from those employed by BIPA. The images taken will be shared with media and are also available on request from Tim West ( or Áine McMahon ( Cameras are however allowed in the media pen in the Great Hall. Please note, that the Great Hall is also a public space.

Interviews: With either of the Co-chairs, Karen Bradley MP and Brendan Smith TD, can be arranged by emailing 


For more on BIPA, see here.

Follow us on Twitter for updates: @BritishIrishPA

Assembly Co-Chairs:

UK: Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP (CON) Staffordshire Moorlands

Ireland: Brendan Smith TD (Fianna Fáil) Cavan-Monaghan

Media Contacts:

UK: Tim West ( +44 7933 386 949

Ireland: Áine McMahon ( +353 85 800 7312

Follow us on Twitter for updates: @BritishIrishPA