To match an exact phrase, use quotation marks around the search term. eg. "Parliamentary Estate". Use "OR" or "AND" as link words to form more complex queries.


Keep yourself up-to-date with the latest developments by exploring our subscription options to receive notifications direct to your inbox

Written Question
Bombings: Omagh
Monday 29th January 2024

Asked by: Baroness Foster of Aghadrumsee (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question to the Northern Ireland Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have held with the government of Ireland regarding the possibility of that government establishing a public inquiry into the Omagh bombing of 1998.

Answered by Lord Caine

In October 2021, the Northern Ireland High Court found that an Article 2 compliant investigation into the Omagh bombing had not taken place, citing four grounds which the Court held could give rise to plausible arguments that there was a real prospect of preventing the Omagh Bomb. The Gallagher judgement also expressed a desire that a simultaneous Article 2 compliant investigation occur in Ireland, though it recognised that it was not within the Court’s power to order a cross-border investigation.

In response to the findings of the Court, the Secretary of State announced in February 2023 that the Government would establish an independent statutory inquiry into the Omagh bombing. In June 2023, the Secretary of State appointed Lord Alan Turnbull as Chairman of the Omagh Bombing Inquiry. The Government continues working at pace to finalise the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference as soon as possible.

While this is, of course, a matter for the Irish Government, the UK Government is keen to understand what consideration it has given, since the Gallagher judgement, to the setting up of an investigation in Ireland to discharge its obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights. This issue was directly raised most recently by me at the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference on 28 November 2023.

This is one of several legitimate questions regarding the Irish Government’s record of dealing with legacy matters in its own jurisdiction.


Written Question
Patrick Ryan
Thursday 21st September 2023

Asked by: Baroness Foster of Aghadrumsee (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question to the Northern Ireland Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Ireland on any plans to prosecute Father Patrick Ryan following recent admissions published in the book The Padre: The True Story of Irish Priest who armed the IRA with Gadaffi's Money, published in August.

Answered by Lord Caine

Criminal prosecutions regarding alleged criminal conduct in Ireland during the Troubles is a matter for the Irish authorities.

The Independent Commission for Reconciliation and Information Recovery (ICRIR) established by the UK Government’s Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy & Reconciliation) Act will conduct reviews into Troubles-related deaths and serious injury, with the primary objective of providing information to families, and victims and survivors.

The ICRIR will have all the necessary powers to conduct criminal investigations as part of any review, and will be able to refer cases relating to conduct which took place in the UK for prosecution in cases where conditional immunity from prosecution is not granted and sufficient evidence exists.

The legislation includes a requirement of full disclosure by UK bodies & agencies. Effective information recovery mechanisms for many families, however, will require the cooperation of both governments. The Government hopes, therefore, that the Irish Government will, in the absence of an alternative in place for dealing with Troubles-related incidents, support the work of the ICRIR in delivering better outcomes for victims and families across the UK and Ireland.


Written Question
War Memorials Trust: Northern Ireland
Wednesday 8th February 2023

Asked by: Baroness Foster of Aghadrumsee (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question to the Northern Ireland Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to paragraph 21 of Annex A of the New Decade, New Approach Deal, published in January 2020, how they have ensured that the work of the War Memorials Trust has been better promoted and understood in Northern Ireland.

Answered by Lord Caine

Officials have been engaging with the Department of Communities in order to ensure that our work on this commitment both complements the Department’s strategic approach and existing policies on built heritage in Northern Ireland, and is proportional to current pressures on public spending.


Written Question
UK Internal Trade: Northern Ireland
Wednesday 8th February 2023

Asked by: Baroness Foster of Aghadrumsee (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question to the Northern Ireland Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to paragraph 10 of Annex A of the New Decade, New Approach Deal, published in January 2020, what steps they have taken to secure Northern Ireland’s place within the internal market of the UK.

Answered by Lord Caine

The Northern Ireland Protocol makes clear that Northern Ireland remains part of the UK internal market and the Government legislated under the 2020 UK Internal Market access to provide for unfettered access to the UK internal market for Northern Ireland goods.

It is clear, however, that the Protocol is causing real problems in Northern Ireland. It is our clear preference to resolve these through talks and the Government is engaging in constructive dialogue with the EU to find solutions to these problems. If this is not possible, however, we have introduced the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill which aims to fix the practical problems created by the Protocol.


Written Question
Police Service of Northern Ireland: Finance
Wednesday 8th February 2023

Asked by: Baroness Foster of Aghadrumsee (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question to the Northern Ireland Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to paragraph 17 of Annex A of the New Decade, New Approach Deal, published in January 2020, how much additional resources they have allocated to the Police Service of Northern Ireland since the Deal was agreed.

Answered by Lord Caine

Policing is a devolved matter in Northern Ireland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s main budget is allocated by the Department of Justice from the Northern Ireland block grant.

The recent Budget that the Secretary of State set for Northern Ireland provides the Northern Ireland Department of Justice with a 3.1% uplift on its 2021-2022 budget with a total allocation of £1.18 billion.

Since 2010, the UK Government has also provided the PSNI with the additional security funding it needs to ensure that it has the resources to tackle the threat from Northern Ireland-related terrorism. This additional security funding ensures PSNI’s ability to tackle the terrorist threat while ensuring day-to-day policing is not compromised. The contribution for the financial year 2022/23 is £32 million. This is the same that has been provided each year since 2015/16. This continued level of Additional Security Funding for the PSNI from the UKG has been confirmed through to 2024/25.

In addition to the direct support to the PSNI through Additional Security Funding, the Government has also committed circa £8 million per year (through the spending review 2021 and New Decade New Approach funding) to the Tackling Paramilitarism Programme to match NI Executive funding until the end of the second phase of the Programme in March 2024. The Programme supports the Paramilitary Crime Task Force, which includes PSNI, the National Crime Agency and His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.


Written Question
Castlereagh Foundation: Finance
Monday 6th February 2023

Asked by: Baroness Foster of Aghadrumsee (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question to the Northern Ireland Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to paragraph 25 of Annex A of the New Decade, New Approach Deal, published in January 2020, how much funding they provided to establish the Castlereagh Foundation.

Answered by Lord Caine

The amount of funding requested to establish the Castlereagh Foundation will be a matter for the Office of Identity and Cultural Expression.



Written Question
Schools: Northern Ireland
Monday 6th February 2023

Asked by: Baroness Foster of Aghadrumsee (Non-affiliated - Life peer)

Question to the Northern Ireland Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to paragraph 28 of Annex A of the New Decade, New Approach Deal, published in January 2020, what steps they have taken to establish the connected classroom programme across the UK

Answered by Lord Caine

Following significant preparatory work after the publication of the New Decade, New Approach deal, it has become apparent that there is currently no viable delivery route for a connected classrooms programme that meets the key requirements of regularity, propriety, value for money and feasibility. Delivery of this programme will, therefore, not be pursued at this time though this will be kept under review.