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Tánaiste: We're not going to reverse Vatican embassy decision

The Tánaiste reiterated that the government will review the decision when Ireland’s financial circumstances improve.

Michael D Higgins and Eamon Gilmore meeting Charles Brown, the new Papal Nuncio to Ireland.
Michael D Higgins and Eamon Gilmore meeting Charles Brown, the new Papal Nuncio to Ireland.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has said that the decision to close three Irish embassies around the world, including the embassy to the Holy See, will not be reversed by the government.

Speaking this morning, the Tánaiste said that the decision will be reviewed when Ireland’s financial circumstances improve.

He also called on the Vatican to show “flexibility” over its insistence that the embassy to the Holy See should not be in the same building as the embassy to Italy.

“We’re not going to reverse the decision that the government has made in respect of the closure of the three embassies that we announced last year, including the embassy to the Holy See,” the Tánaiste said on RTE’s Morning Ireland this morning.

“I made it clear at the time that when our financial circumstances improve and we’re looking at opening embassies and extending our diplomatic footprint in the world that of course we will look at the issue of the Holy See again in that context”.

“In the meantime, if the Vatican relaxes the requirement about having two separate buildings then we will look at the Vatican situation again in that context”.

He said that the decision will not be a “long way away” and emphasised that there was “scope for compromise” between Ireland and the Holy See.

Yesterday Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said a Vatican embassy could reopen in the same building as the Irish embassy to Italy only if the two embassies were kept completely separate.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said that the decision to close the embassy will be reviewed “in its own good time”. The Taoiseach said that the closure of the embassy had been “hyped up in certain quarters”.

Archbishop calls for ‘renewed’ and ‘more humble’ Catholic church >

Read more about the closure of Ireland’s embassy to the Holy See >

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