Press Release

Health Ministers open new Food Safety Promotion Board Headquarters

Today (24 November 2001) in Cork, in the presence of the Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern TD, the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Ms Bairbre de Brún MLA and the Minister for Health and Children, Mr Micheál Martin TD, jointly opened the new headquarters building for Safefood, the Food Safety Promotion Board, one of the six Implementation Bodies established under the Good Friday Agreement.

Minister de Brún said: “The opening of the new Headquarters for Safefood, following on last week’s North South Ministerial Meeting in Belfast, marks a further significant development in co-operation between the two parts of this island, on matters of mutual interest.”

Welcoming the opening , Minister Martin said, “All island co-operation to tackle food safety and food borne diseases – which recognize no borders – is of the utmost importance to consumers and administrators both North and South and we are committed to attaining the highest possible level of food safety in the whole Island of Ireland.”

Up until now the Board has been hindered in carrying out its functions by the political difficulties in the North.

“The meeting of the North South Ministerial Council in Belfast last week, at which decisions to endorse various aspects of FSPB´s business were made, has opened the way for the Board to get on with its job. With today’s opening of its new Headquarters, Safefood can now begin to develop with a real feeling of confidence and security,” said Minister de Brún

The Taoiseach, who was in Cork, for the opening, paid tribute to the Chairman of the FSPB, Councillor Bertie Kerr, for his tireless work in relation to the implementation of this aspect of the Good Friday Agreement. In addition to the Taoiseach and the two Health Ministers, the official opening ceremony was attended by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Tom O´Driscoll, the Chairman of the County Council, Councillor Michael Hegarty plus members of the Safefood Board and Advisory Committee.