Irish politicians spar over motives for closing Vatican embassy
November 08, 2011
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has heatedly denied the charge that his government is closing the Irish embassy at the Vatican for political reasons.
Kenny insisted that the decision to close the embassy was motivated only by economic concerns. In announcing the decision last week, foreign minister Eamon Gilmore said that the government had paid “particular attention to the economic return from bilateral missions” before deciding to close embassies in East Timor, in Iran, and at the Holy See.
A prominent opposition leader, Eamon O Cuiv, argued with equal vigor that the government’s decision was “purely a political one and the government should have the guts to say that is what it was. O Cuiv—who is the grandson of former Irish President Eamon de Valera—said that it is “nonsense” to claim an economic motive for what “was most definitely not a fiscal decision.”