Archive for Ireland
New Zealand has announced plans to open its first embassy in Dublin. At present, the country is represented here by the New Zealand High Commission in London. However, there is a New Zealand Honorary Consulate-General in the capital. An estimated 14,000 Irish-born people live in New Zealand, while approximately one-in-six New Zealanders claim Irish heritage – out of a total population of 4.7 million.
The US Embassy in Dublin has been accused of ‘scaremongering’ after it published warnings about a planned protest against Donald Trump’s travel ban. The ‘United Against Racism’ demonstration is scheduled to take place outside the embassy in Dublin at 6pm this evening. Hundreds of people are expected to attend the event, with the embassy advising the crowd “may exceed 1,000″. A notice on the embassy’s website says ”even protests intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence”. The embassy warns US citizens here to “avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place and exercise caution when in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations”. Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Mick Barry will address tonight’s protest, and claims the advisory is an attempt to warn-off American citizens from attending the protest. Deputy Barry described any suggestion of a threat of violence breaking out at tonight’s demonstration is “disgraceful”.
Residents from Merrion Road in Dublin 4 have failed in their attempts to block the Indian government from establishing a new embassy on the road. An Bord Pleanála has dismissed the appeal by the Merrion Road Residents’ Association against Dublin City Council granting planning permission to the Office of the Ambassador of India to change the use of 69 Merrion Road an embassy and extend the property. In approving the move, the board rejected the recommendation of its own inspector to refuse planning permission. Inspector Derek Daly said that if the application was permitted, the area will become overwhelmingly non-residential in relation to use. However, the board ruled in deciding not to accept the inspector’s recommendation, it found that the intensity of use would be acceptable at this location. The current Indian embassy is located at Leeson Park in D4. Ambassador, Smt. Radhika Lol Lokesh is to remain at the Indian ambassador’s residence in Foxrock. However, the application for the new embassy provoked a wave of opposition from residents’ associations representing some of the most prestigious addresses in the country.
Brussels, London , Tokyo, New York and Paris top the list of Ireland’s most expensive embassies in 2013. In total, Ireland spent €43 million on embassies, with a further €7 million spent on missions in Africa and Vietnam. The two Irish missions in Brussels are the most expensive, with the Permanent Representative to the EU costing €3.4 million and the embassy there costing €600,000. In New York, the Permanent Mission to the EU and the Consulate General cost around €3.5 million combined. London costs €2.7 million and Paris €1.6 million. A drop of €400,000 in expenditure sees Tokyo costing €1.5 million.
Israeli diplomats in Dublin have drawn criticism after staff used their official Twitter feed to publish a series of doctored images which included a hijab-clad Mona Lisa cradling an enormous rocket. The pictures – which appeared to have been posted today but were later removed – featured images relating to different European countries and bearing the slogan: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world”. One of the images showed Michelangelo’s statue of David wearing an Arab headscarf and with an explosive belt wrapped round its torso. Accompanying the slogan were the words “Israel now Italy next”. Another, addressed to Ireland, showed Dublin’s famous Molly Malone statue covered by a full-length black niqab, while a fourth featured what appears to be an armed militant perched on a seaside rock and bearing the words: “Israel now Denmark next”. The pictures drew instant criticism from some Twitter users. “Time the Irish authorities call ambassador in to reject such hatred,” said one.
Ireland’s new ambassador to the Holy See is Emma Madigan, who had been an assistant chief of protocol at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Her nomination was approved by the cabinet at its meeting today. She succeeds Noel Fahey who retired from the position in summer 2011. On November 3rd 2011 Tánaiste and Minster for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore announced “with the greatest regret and reluctance” that the Government had decided to close Ireland’s embassy to the Holy See. “While the Embassy to the Holy See is one of Ireland’s oldest missions, it yields no economic return,” he said, adding, “the Government believes that Ireland’s interests with the Holy See can be sufficiently represented by a non-resident Ambassador.” Since then Ireland has been represented at the Vatican on a caretaker basis by secretary general at the Department of Foreign Affairs David Cooney. Last January Mr Gilmore announced that the Embassy to the Holy See was to reopen as part of an expansion of Ireland’s diplomatic network which will also see embassies opening in Thailand, Indonesia, Croatia, and Kenya. The new embassy will not be housed at its old site of the State-owned Villa Spada which, in the meantime, has become the Irish Embassy to the Italian state. It was stated that this was not because of any Vatican veto on a dual purpose embassy but rather because there is no space available at Villa Spada. Foreign Affairs has also said the new Embassy will be a “modest”, one-person operation, in keeping with the desire of Pope Francis of “a poor church for the poor,” and will re-open this summer.
One of Ireland’s most senior EU civil servants is to be formally announced later today as the European Union’s new ambassador to Washington. David O’Sullivan, who is currently the chief operating officer of the EU’s foreign service arm, the External Action Service, will take up the post shortly. He takes over from Portuguese official Joao Vale de Almeida at a time of heightened transatlantic diplomatic activity over Ukraine and over the EU-US trade negotiations. Mr O’Sullivan has previously been director general of the European Commission’s trade division and the top civil servant at the commission. The 61-year-old graduate of Trinity College was first seconded to Brussels from the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1979.