Fine Gael Senator for Cavan, Joe O’Reilly has been elected to the position of Vice-President of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
The Cavan representative was nominated for the position by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, and elected by the membership of the Parliamentary Assembly.
“I look forward to doing my utmost to ensure Ireland is well represented at the Council of Europe,” he said, following the appointment.
The Council of Europe, based in Strasbourg in France, now covers virtually the entire European continent, with 47 member countries. Founded in May 1949, the Council seeks to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European social model.
In particular, the Fine Gael Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Seanad noted the importance of his appointment in the context of Britain's impending exit from the EU, with Sen O'Reilly saying: “[The Council] provides us with a forum to engage with our British counterparts, and to ensure our European colleagues appreciate Ireland’s concerns, particularly as they relate to the border region, which has a direct impact on Cavan and Monaghan.”