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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 29 November, 2014

Tánaiste backs Irishman for Washington EU ambassador role

It’s expected David O’Sullivan will be appointed to the high-profile position later this year.

David O'Sullivan
David O'Sullivan
Image: Friends of Europe via Flickr/Creative Commons

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT would “warmly welcome” the appointment of Irishman David O’Sullivan as the next EU ambassador to the US, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said.

The nomination process for the role is still under way, but it’s understood European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is planning to appoint O’Sullivan to the Washington role.

The Trinity graduate and former Department of Foreign Affairs official is currently the chief operating officer of the EU’s diplomatic service. The Brussels-based European Voice reported last week that Ashton has already chosen him for the high-profile US post.

Speaking to reporters as he arrived in Brussels this morning for a meeting of EU foreign ministers, Eamon Gilmore described O’Sullivan as  ”somebody who has an outstanding track record in the European institutions”.

“He has held a succession of very senior positions within the European institutions,” the Tánaiste said.

“We’ve worked very closely with him. He’s Irish. He’s a very good friend of Ireland.

“I know it would be a very deep honour both for David himself and the country if he were to be appointed at the European Union ambassador to the United States.”

Former Taoiseach John Bruton was the last Irish person to hold the senior diplomatic role, serving between 2004 and 2009.

O’Sullivan was appointed to his position with the European External Action Service in 2010. It’s expected he’ll take up his new job in September of this year, replacing incumbent João Vale de Almeida.

Read: ‘Rock solid’ – the relationship between Taoiseach and Tánaiste, says Ruairí Quinn

Read: ‘Chuckling’ relationship with McGuinness hastened my departure — Paisley

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