Today I attended my second NSMC meetings for the North-South Language Body and Waterways Ireland. I did not have to go too far as we held the meeting in my department offices in Belfast. The Irish Republic was represented by Eamon O'Cuiv, the minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.
The first meeting was in relation to the North-South Language Body and we received the reports from the Boord o Ulster-Scotch and Foras na Gaelige. We also noted the draft business plans for 2010 but work on these is ongoing. As a result of resignations, there are currently three vacancies on the Boord o Ulster-Scotch but these will be filled at an NSMC meeting later this month.
After a five minute break we held a second meeting to consider Waterways Ireland. We received a report from the chief executive, approved the 2009 business plan and noted the draft business plan for 2010. There was also a presentation about developments on the Shannon. When I was at primary school many years ago we were taught the names of the loughs on the Shannon - Lough Allen, Lough Ree and Lough Derg - and it was interesting to see the work that is ongoing to improve this waterway for tourists.
I hope to report to the Assembly next Tuesday on the Language Body meeting and then to report on the Waterways Ireland meeting early in January.