Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD will today (9 December 2021) set out his vision for the next phase of the Government’s Shared Island initiative, as part of the Shared Island Forum taking place at Dublin Castle.The Taoiseach will deliver a keynote address at the event, and outline a number of new cross-border and all-island strategic projects, which will be supported through the Shared Island Fund, and delivered by Government Departments working in partnership with the Northern Ireland Executive, the UK Government and Local Authorities.
The online event, which will reflect on the progress achieved through the Shared Island initiative over the past year and provide an opportunity to discuss how best to build on this in the coming years, will be moderated by journalist, author and broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald. Patrick Kielty will deliver a guest address providing his reflections on the shared island. He will also participate in the first panel discussion, “Engaging on a shared future”, looking at cross-border and cross-community leadership by civil society on common concerns for the years ahead, North and South. A second panel discussion on, “Understanding our shared island”, will focus on the comprehensive research programme being progressed as part of the Shared Island initiative, with the National Economic and Social Council, ESRI, Irish Research Council and other partners.
Speaking ahead of the event, Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD said, “When I launched the Shared Island initiative, I said that we would be ambitious; and without doubt, the last year has demonstrated that ambition.
“We have reinvigorated key North/South Infrastructure projects such as the Ulster Canal and the Narrow Water Bridge; begun a major new North South Research Programme; and brought more than 1,000 people and organisations together through the Shared Island Dialogue series to discuss ways of better achieving common goals, North and South.
“Today, I’ll set out the next steps for the Government’s Shared Island initiative, including an ambitious programme of key cross-border and all-island strategic investments to improve connectivity, support enterprise and education opportunities, and tackle the climate emergency facing the whole island”.
The Shared Island Forum will be live-streamed on RTENews and @merrionstreet social media platforms from 2pm. Join the conversation using #SharedIsland
Note to Editor: Please find Shared Island Forum programme and Shared Island Dialogue Series composite report attached. More information on the Shared Island initiative is available at www.gov.ie/sharedisland