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Annual ConferenceCo-operative Party Northern Ireland

In 2021, due to the restrictions imposed following the Covid-19 pandemic, the Co-operative Party is holding a series of virtual online-only Conferences across all areas of the UK. Members and supporters from across Northern Ireland are invited to take part in the online Annual Conference of the Co-operative Party Northern Ireland which takes place on Zoom on Saturday 22nd May 2021 , 9.30am – 13.00pm

This a serious time for politics in Northern Ireland when it’s citizens are looking for politicians across the sectarian divide to reach out & plan for a better future for all its people. The Co-operative Party in Northern Ireland want to play it’s role in that endeavour. There will be a range of exciting speakers on really pertinent issues to Co-operators & fellow progressives from Northern Ireland.

This event is open to Co-operative Party members as well as non-members. Please pass on this information to anyone you feel you like to join us.


9.30am Welcome and introduction with Tony McMullan, chair Co-operative Party Northern Ireland.

9.35am Keynote address and Q&A with:

  • Preet Gill MP – Chair of the Labour & Co-operative Parliament Group, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development and MP for Birmingham Edgbaston

  • Ruth Hall – update on the work of the Co-op Party’s with NEC representative for Scotland and Northern Ireland

Followed by a series of chaired Panel debates, with invited guest speakers talking on the 3 topics and then taking questions, as follows:

10am The Future of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive: discussing the recent proposal by the current Minister for Communities that the Regional Housing Body, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive ( NIHE ) should be spilt with one part of it’s current function being turned into a Mutual. Speaking panelists include:

  • Justin Cartwright – National Director, Northern Ireland Chartered Institute of Housing

  • Agnes Crawford – General Manager, Grove Community Housing Association’

  • Paul Gosling – Financial Journalist

  • Chair – Anna McAleavy, Vice-Chair

10.45am BREAK

11am Co-operative Development in Ireland, Scotland & Wales with speaking panelists:

  • Richard McCready, Political Officer Scottish Co-operative Party.

  • Karen Wilkie, Deputy General Secretary & Wales Co-operative Party

  • Dr Noreen Byrne, The Centre for Co-operative Studies, University College , Cork

  • Chair – Sandra Wilson, Secretary Women’s Network

11.45 Impact of Brexit & the Northern Ireland protocol on goods transferring to Northern Ireland & also the political implications with speaking panelists:

  • Sinead McLaughlin MLA – SDLP Spokesperson for the Economy and Energy

  • Stephen Kelly – CEO Manufacturing Northern Ireland

  • Aodhan Connolly – Director, Northern Ireland Retail Consortium

  • Chair – Olivia Fletcher, joint chair Co-operative Party Youth Committee

12.30 Final reflections, with

  • Tony McMullan, chair Co-operative Party Northern Ireland

1.00pm – END –

History: William Thompson
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