Energetic focus on Scottish-Irish relationships


Deputy Presiding Officer John Scott MSP will lead a delegation of MSPs this week as they attend the British Irish Parliamentary Assembly (BIPA) in Donegal, Republic of Ireland.

The MSPs will take part in the two day conference at which energy and renewable energy will be the focus of discussion. MSPs Willie Coffey, Siobhan McMahon, Mary Scanlon and Alison McInnes will join Mr Scott in discussing these and other topics of mutual concern with elected representatives from across the British Isles.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Deputy Presiding Officer John Scott MSP said:

“This BIPA meeting provides us with a valuable opportunity to work with colleagues from around the UK and Ireland. The issues surrounding future energy supplies are common across the British Isles and the conference will provide an opportunity to discuss the future shape of the energy sector and specifically the role of renewable energy. I look forward to a productive gathering as we seek to address these issues, which I know are of concern to the people of Scotland.”

The programme includes an address from Enda Kenny TD, An Taoiseach and a panel discussion involving industry experts in energy generation:


Welcomes and introductions by Paul Hannigan, President of the host venue Letterkenny Institute of Technology and Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive of Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Committee discussions include:

  • Progress report on the work of Committee on sovereign matters by Frank Feighan, TD
  • Report on credit unions presented by Jack Wall, TD

Key note addresses on:

  • ‘Britain and Ireland: Delivering the Benefits of Renewable Energy’ by Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
  • ‘A Future Vision for Clean Energy in Europe’ by Eddie O’Connor, Chief Executive of Mainstream Renewable Power
  • ‘EU Energy Targets: Challenges and Opportunities’ by Philip Lowe, Director General for Energy, European Commission
  • Keynote Address: Enda Kenny TD, An Taoiseach

Panel Discussion on ‘Opportunities for Growth and Employment in Energy’ with:

  • Brian Britton, Chairman of National Offshore Wind Association of Ireland and Board Member of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chair of the Energy Committee
  • David Manning, Director of Corporate Affairs for SSE Ireland 
  • Neil Stewart Managing Director of Renewable Business at Glendimplex
  • Sue Barr Environment and External Affairs Manager at Open Hydro
  • Tim Cowhig CEO at Element Power


Committee discussions to include:

  • ‘The Atlantic Strategy: Benefits for Britain and Ireland’ presented by Robert Walter MP
  • A report on the work of Committee on Environmental and Social matters presented by Lord Alfred Dubs

Key note addresses on:

  • ‘How Energy will Evolve in the Next Decade’ by Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB
  • ‘Delivering Secure, Sustainable and Competitive Energy to all Consumers’ by Fintan Slye, Chief Executive of EirGrid
  • ‘Britain and Ireland: Developing Cultural Links’ by Madeline Boughton, Showcase Manager, Culture Ireland

Debates on the motions:

  • "That the Assembly examines its relationship with the British Irish Council with the view to deepening the engagement and interaction between both."
  • "That the Assembly considers relationships in relation to the orderly wind up of Bank of Scotland (Ireland)."

“That this Assembly recognises the close trading relationship between the Irish and UK food industries and supports the ministerial agreement that the FSAI and the UK Food standards Agency will work closely together and jointly agree an approach for protecting the authenticity of meat ingredients used in the manufacture of meat based products."


BIPA is the principal political mechanism for dialogue between elected representatives from the UK Parliament, the Houses of the Oireachtas, the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Welsh Assembly, the High Court of Tynwald (Isle of Man) and the States of Guernsey and Jersey.

BIPA meets Bi-annually in plenary session, alternating between venues in Britain and Ireland. The most recent (45th) plenary session was held in the Glasgow in October 2012.

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