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Devolution

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what discussions took place regarding the Irish language at recent talks between the Government, Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party; (213114)

(2) what discussions took place on the devolution of criminal justice and policing at recent talks between the Government, Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party;

(3) what subjects were discussed at his talks with the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin at the time of the establishment of the new Northern Ireland Executive; what the outcomes were of such discussions; and if he will make a statement.

The recent talks between the Government and the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers covered a number of issues including the forward investment strategy for Northern Ireland, the economic situation, devolution of policing and justice, continuing concerns around paramilitary organisations, parades, sites, the Irish language and education.

The First and deputy First Ministers have confirmed that these discussions will continue in Belfast, involving all the parties in the Assembly.