Jane Morrice

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Jane Morrice
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for North Down
In office
25 June 1998 – 26 November 2003
Preceded byNew Creation
Succeeded byAlex Easton
Personal details
Born (1954-05-11) 11 May 1954 (age 65)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Political partyNI Women's Coalition
ResidenceBangor, County Down
Alma materUniversity of Ulster

Jane Morrice (born 11 May 1954) is former Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, former Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland and former reporter for BBC Belfast. Jane was Vice President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) from 2013-2015 and also served two terms as Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Equality Commission. She was a prominent member of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition until it ceased to exist in 2006. She was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998 and was appointed Deputy Speaker in February 2000. She has represented NI interests as an EESC Member in Brussels since 2006 and, after many decades as a Member of the European Movement Northern Ireland, she was nominated Hon. President.

Morrice was involved in the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and was a member of the Standing Orders Committee which set the initial rules governing Assembly procedures post-devolution. She was also a member of the Assembly's Trade and Industry Committee and the Public Accounts Committee.

Born in Belfast, Morrice was educated at Ashleigh House School and Methodist College Belfast and the University of Ulster.[1] She began her career as a journalist in Brussels in 1980; In 1986, she moved to BBC Belfast as reporter covering news and current affairs during the ‘troubles’ and was later promoted to Business and Labour Relations correspondent. In 1992, she was appointed Head of the European Commission (EC) Office in Northern Ireland and, as a member of the task force set up by EC President Delors, she was involved in the creation of the first EU PEACE Programme which has invested £2billion in cross-community and cross-border peace initiatives to date.

She entered politics in 1996 when she joined the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (founded by Monica McWilliams and Pearl Sagar). In 1996 she was an unsuccessful candidate in the Northern Ireland Forum election in North Down.[2] She stood unsuccessfully as an independent in North Down at the 1997 general election. She was elected in North Down at the 1998 Northern Ireland Assembly election, but lost the seat at the 2003 election.

Morrice also served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Integrated Education Fund and as a Board Member of the Laganside Corporation, which was tasked with regenerating Belfast's waterfront.

In 2006, Jane was nominated to represent Northern Ireland on the Brussels-based EESC and, in 2013, she was elected its Vice President. In a role similar to that of Deputy Speaker, she chaired sessions of the Assembly made up of 350 members from 28 EU Member States speaking 23 languages. In 2008, she was appointed to the NI Equality Commission as Deputy Chief and, in this role, she also Chaired the Equality and Diversity Steering Group promoting the role of women in Local Councils and was a member of the Audit Committee.

As an EESC Member, Morrice and has authored two reports on the EU role in peace-building in Northern Ireland and the world. She also works to promote exchange of experience between Northern Ireland and conflict zones and has carried out such work in Afghanistan, the Lebanon, Turkey and Cyprus.

With first-hand experience of conflict transformation, women in politics, EU affairs and communications, Morrice is regularly required to take part in media debates and international conferences as keynote speaker. A fluent French speaker, she is also involved in promoting the integrated education of Catholic and Protestant children in Northern Ireland. She campaigns to get Northern Ireland granted Honorary EU Association as a European Place of Global peace-building and her petition has been signed by more than 6500 people. The proposal includes an EU-led global peace initiative launched from Northern Ireland and modelled on the PEACE Programme and a path of Peace from Northern Ireland to Nicosia, following in the footsteps of Columbanus, known as the WhiteDoveWay. In recognition of her work, Jane was awarded the Boston Certificate of Recognition for Peace and Equality. She has submitted her candidature for the European elections in Northern Ireland and will stand for election on May 23, if they take place

Morrice graduated from the University of Ulster,with a BA Hon in European Studies. She speaks fluent French and basic Spanish and German.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lynn, Brendan. "Biographies of People Prominent During 'the Troubles'". CAIN Web Service. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  2. ^ Northern Ireland elections

External links[edit]

Northern Ireland Assembly
New assembly MLA for North Down
1998 – 2003
Succeeded by
Alex Easton
New office Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly
2000–2007
With: Sir John Gorman 2000–2002
Donovan McClelland 2000–2007
Jim Wilson 2002–2007
Succeeded by
Francie Molloy
David McClarty
John Dallat