A delegation of eight MHKs – a third of the whole House of Keys - has returned from a study visit to the Oireachtas, the national parliament of Ireland.
Former minister David Anderson MHK (Glenfaba) led the delegation to Leinster House, Dublin, of Kate Beecroft (Douglas South), Alfred Cannan (Michael), Zac Hall (Onchan), Howard Quayle (Middle), Richard Ronan (Castletown), Laurence Skelly (Rushen) and Chris Thomas (Douglas West).
Clerk to the delegation was deputy clerk of Tynwald Jonathan King.
The two-day programme provided discussion opportunities on a broad range of topics including parliamentary practice and procedure, taxation, public service pay and pensions, banking, health service management and local government reform.
Members were also able to observe parliamentary proceedings in the two Houses of the Oireachtas, Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann, and of the public accounts committee.
In the Seanad the delegation was welcomed by Cathaoirleach (Speaker of the Senate) Senator Paddy Burke who extended to the Tynwald delegation ‘good wishes for a very successful visit to Dublin and the Irish countryside’
Reception in the Dáil was equally warm with Ceann Comhairle (Speaker of the Dáil) Seán Barrett TD welcoming Members, who were seated in the Distinguished Visitors’ Gallery, by saying he hoped their visit would be ‘helpful in their consideration of procedures.’
On the delegation’s return from Dublin Mr Anderson said: ‘The study visit was very successful and extremely productive. We were most grateful to our Irish counterparts for arranging such a full and varied timetable of meetings.
‘The sessions were, without exception, most stimulating and we left every meeting thinking we could have continued the discussion for a lot longer.
‘It was also interesting to observe parliamentary proceedings in the Oireachtas and to compare those to our own.
‘Above all what distinguished our visit was the overwhelming Irish hospitality and warmth of friendship extended to us.
‘Our time in Dublin has not only served as a valuable opportunity for parliamentarians on both sides to learn from one another but also to strengthen the already close relationship between the Manx and Irish parliaments.’