Photo: Martin meeting with former Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Martin Docherty-Hughes, MP for West Dunbartonshire, has given his backing to efforts to strengthen ties between his constituency and the Irish county of Donegal.

The SNP MP, who is vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ireland and the Irish in Britain, said that he hopes plans for a new Friendship Agreement will help build on historic links between West Dunbartonshire and Donegal.

Mr Docherty-Hughes, who asked West Dunbartonshire Councillor Bailie Denis Agnew to consider the Friendship Agreement between the communities, is delighted that it has come to fruition – having won universal approval from representatives of Donegal County Council.

Councillors in West Dunbartonshire are now set to look at formalising the agreement which it’s hoped will strengthen educational, cultural and economic ties between Scotland and Ireland – building on work of the Scottish and Irish Governments in recent months.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“We’re proud to be home to a large Irish diaspora here in West Dunbartonshire, with many of my constituents having direct and historical family links to Ireland; including my own coming from Stralongford.

“As Brexit looms I think it’s more important than ever that we look at opportunities to build on the beneficial social and economic ties between Ireland and Scotland.

“In 2017 I had the pleasure of meeting with former Taoiseach Enda Kenny. We discussed a range of issues including the value of ensuring these longstanding ties between our communities are invigorated and enabled to flourish.

“Through my role as vice-chair of the APPG on Ireland and the Irish in Britain, I have been working closely with Bailie Denis Agnew and others to develop positive working relationships in this area.

“I fully support proposals to formalise a Friendship Agreement between West Dunbartonshire and Donegal. I’m excited about the opportunities this partnership offers and look forward to it benefiting our communities in the years ahead.”

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