Ireland – Wales Forum 2023

The third annual Ireland-Wales Ministerial Forum took place in North Wales on 19-20 October.

Hosted by First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford, Irish attendees included Micheál Martin, Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, and Simon Harris TD, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

This year's forum focussed on shared opportunities in renewable energy, skills development and language as part of the Irish Sea Framework and Joint Action Plan 2021-2025.

During the visit to North Wales, the Ministerial Forum explored various sites including: Holyhead Port; the Morlais tidal and hydrogen facilities and M-Sparc, Bangor University’s science park. M-Sparc has previously been supported by Welsh Government’s Agile funding to develop business relationships with Ireland.

Other projects funded through Agile Cymru were also showcased as part of the visit, including the CALIN network’s life science work, Bangor University’s sustainable marine initiatives and Aberystwyth University’s work on creating opportunities from shared history and culture.

The Forum recognised the opportunities for the organisations on both sides of the Irish Sea to work together through the Horizon Europe programme. Looking to 2024, the Forum will be considering how cooperation can be deepened.