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Taoiseach meets representatives of Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches

The Taoiseach and several members of Government today met with representatives of the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches as part of the  structured dialogue between the Government and the churches and faith communities. This was the second in a series of bilateral meetings which will be held with dialogue partners.

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A number of important social and economic issues facing Irish society were discussed at the meeting including Brexit, education issues, the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, social justice as well as International issues. The Taoiseach said:

“I found the engagement very valuable and constructive. While we did not agree on everything, I think much more unites us than divides us. The engagement will be repeated in future and there will be ongoing bilateral meetings with Ministers."

The Taoiseach was accompanied by Minister for Education & Skills Richard Bruton, Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan, Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation Heather Humphreys, Minister for Health Simon Harris, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Shane Ross, and Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade Ciaran Cannon.

The Church of Ireland was represented by Most Rev. Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland; Most Rev Dr Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin; Ken Gibson, Honorary Secretary of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland; and Rev Canon Gillian Wharton, Honorary Secretary of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland.

The Presbyterian Church was represented by the Rt Rev. Dr Noble McNeely, Moderator; Rev Trevor Gribben, Clerk of Assembly and General Secretary; and the Very Rev. Dr Trevor Morrow, former Moderator and Convener of the Church’s Republic of Ireland Panel.

The Methodist Church was represented by Dr Fergus O’Ferrall, Lay Leader; Rev. Andrew Dougherty, District Superintendent, Dublin District; and Ms Liz Parkin, Secretary, Council for Social Responsibility, Southern Executive.