Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 17:37 UK

Northern Ireland Assembly

The OFMDFM Committee was briefed by the First Minster Peter Robinson and the Deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness on the work of the department on 22 September 2010.

The committee was also briefed on the Victims and Survivors Commission.

Martin McGuinness told MLAs he had reason to believe the Pope could visit Ireland by 2012. Responding to criticism from the SDLP's Dolores Kelly that he and the First Minister did not meet the Pope in Scotland, Mr McGuinness said he would be happy to meet the Pope if he visited Ireland. Peter Robinson joked that Ms Kelly was annoyed that the Pope had wanted to see him and Mr McGuinness, not her.

Earlier in the ministerial evidence session, Mr Robinson said he and the deputy first minister intend to meet the Chancellor, George Osborne, regarding forthcoming spending cuts in order to put the case for Northern Ireland. The two ministers have also sought a meeting with the Prime Minister.

Mr McGuinness said republican dissidents would not succeed in their objective which he described as trying to destroy the peace process and cause a split between himself and the First Minister.

The OFMDFM then took evidence from the Victims and Survivors Commission. Commissioner Brendan McAllister said current arrangements were failing the victims and survivors of the troubles and failing society.

OFMDFM committee membership

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