Written Answers - Diplomatic Representation

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 751 No. 4

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  68.  Deputy Micheál Martin  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade  Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore   if he has been in communication with the Vatican recently in relation to Ireland withdrawing its embassy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1942/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore  On 3 November last year, the day of the Government’s decision to close our resident Embassy to the Holy See, I wrote to the Holy See’s Secretary of State, His Excellency Cardinal Bertone, to inform him of the Government’s decision and why it had been necessary, as well as to express Government’s intention to continue our active engagement with the Holy See on issues of mutual interest and concern. On the same day, at my request, the Secretary General of my Department met with the Chargé d’Affaires at the Papal Nunciature in Dublin to inform him of the decision in advance of the public announcement later that day. In the meantime, there has been regular contact at official level between my Department and the Vatican. The closure of the resident Embassy has been completed and the Holy See has agreed to the Government’s nomination of the Secretary General of my Department, Mr. David Cooney, as our non-resident Ambassador. Mr. Cooney has travelled to Rome twice since his nomination where he has met with Vatican officials. On his most recent visit, earlier this month, he attended the ordination of the incoming Nuncio, Archbishop Charles J. Brown, by Pope Benedict and con[874]veyed to Archbishop Brown the best wishes of the President, Government and people of Ireland.

I very much look forward to meeting Archbishop Brown on his arrival in Ireland and to working closely with him in his roles of Apostolic Nuncio and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

Question No. 69 answered with Question No. 39.

Question No. 70 answered with Question No. 67.


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