Wednesday 23 August 2017

Brexit chief to join ranks of Mandela, Clinton and Blair with historic address to the Dáil

European Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier speaks during a news conference in Brussels, Belgium May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
European Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier speaks during a news conference in Brussels, Belgium May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is to make a rare address to the Dáil.

It has been decided Mr Barnier will appear before a joint sitting of the Dáil and Seanad next Thursday where he will deliver a speech on his priorities for the Brexit negotiations.

The leaders of the main parties and groupings will then be allowed to make a short statement.

The honour of addressing the Dáil is usually reserved for visiting presidents and prime ministers, and even then only on special occasions.

It will be the first time such event since the President of the EU Parliament Martin Schulz addressed the Houses five years ago.

In the past decade it has occurred only four times. Among those to have previously made Dáil speeches are Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Regan and John F Kennedy.

Mr Barnier’s visit coincides with a meeting of the European People’s Party in Druid’s Glen where he will also be a speaker.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will also attend that event, as will Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Online Editors

Also in this section