Ireland to close embassy at the Vatican
November 03, 2011
The Irish government has announced plans to close its embassy to the Holy See.
Foreign minister Eamon Gilmore said that the decision was motivated by economic concerns, rather than by a serious diplomatic conflict with the Vatican earlier this year. He explained that the government had chosen to close three embassies—in Iran, East Timor, and the Vatican—in a budget-trimming process that gave “particular attention to the economic return from bilateral missions.”
Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, issued a statement expressing his “profound disappointment” and describing the government’s decision as a “regrettable step.” The cardinal commented: “This decision seems to show little regard for the important role played by the Holy See in international relations and of the historic ties between the Irish people and the Holy See over many centuries.”
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