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Government “is satisfied” without Vatican embassy

There is no plan to re-establish a resident embassy to the Holy See in the immediate term says Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore

Pope Francis blesses a mosaic dedicated to Filipino St. Pedro Calungsod, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
Pope Francis blesses a mosaic dedicated to Filipino St. Pedro Calungsod, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
Image: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

THE GOVERNMENT IS happy to continue without an Irish embassy in the Vatican for the moment according to Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore.

An Tánaiste was facing questions from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin during the week about whether the Government intends to re-establish a permanent representative in the Holy See.

Gilmore told the Dáil during the week that at present the secretary general of his department acting was a non-resident Ambassador to the Holy See.

The Ambassador travels to Rome regularly and I am satisfied that the current arrangement for Ireland’s representation at the Holy See is the most effective possible at the moment in light of the resource constraints faced by my department.

“The arrangement ensures that contact with the Holy See is maintained at the highest possible diplomatic level,” he added.

The Vatican Embassy was closed by the Government in November 2011 and is estimated to have saved the state €845,000.

In response to criticism of the decision, the Government has said that it would be reviewed when Ireland’s financial circumstances improve. Gilmore repeated that this week and added that there was “no plan to re-establish a resident embassy to the Holy See in the immediate term.”

Read: Gilmore opens door for Vatican to relax embassy requirements >

Read: We’re not going to reverse Vatican embassy decision – Tánaiste >

Read: Closure of Vatican embassy will not be reversed ‘in the immediate term’ >

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Rónán Duffy

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