‘It’s off’: Shane Ross cancels planned trip to North Korea

Proposed ‘peace’ mission by Alliance Ministers to capital Pyongyang is cancelled


Three members of the Independent Alliance will not proceed with their controversial planned trip to North Korea, Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said.

He said his planned diplomatic visit to the country with fellow Alliance Ministers John Halligan and Finian McGrath would not go ahead as it was against Government policy.

“It’s off,” he said, during an interview on RTÉ’s Prime Time programme on Thursday evening.

Mr Ross said it had been a tentative plan but that not structures had been put in place.

“It was just an idea.”

The Minister said the trio had previously discussed the idea of foreign trips and that the Korean plan had been made in a “freelance capacity”.

“It had never developed to the stage where we were going,” Mr Ross said.

The Independent Alliance group of five TDs, which forms part of the Government side in the Dáil, had been thrown into its most serious crisis yet over the proposed peace trip.

The Irish Times reported on Thursday that angry exchanges had taken place between members in recent days with two of them, Seán Canney and Kevin “Boxer” Moran, expressing the view that the group had been left open to ridicule.

Mr Moran said he had been left embarrassed by the whole affair. “It did embarrass me and they know my feelings on that now,” he said.

“This was a car crash waiting to happen,” said one source about the proposal that Alliance Ministers John Halligan, Shane Ross and Finian McGrath travel to North Korea on a peace mission.