Ireland’s embassy to the Vatican will re-open by year end

Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív raised the issue in a written question to the Department of Foreign Affairs

Ireland’s Embassy to the Vatican will open by the end of this year The Irish Catholicunderstands. The Government is currently investigating a number of possible sites in Rome where the embassy and soon-to-be-appointed ambassador will be housed. It is expected that the embassy could be up-and-running by the autumn.

In November 2011, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore announced the closure of the historic Irish diplomatic mission to the Vatican. However, in a political u-turn, the Tánaiste announced in January of this year that he would reverse the controversial decision.

The new embassy is a scaled-back mission and will have only one Irish diplomat based in the embassy. The work of the ambassador will be supported by staff who will be hired locally rather than officials from Dublin being sent.

Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív raised the issue in a written question to the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Dáil last week. Responding on behalf of the Government, Minister of State Paschal Donohoe confirmed the timetable for the re-opening.

“When the Embassy to the Holy See is re-opened later this year, it is intended that it will be staffed by one diplomatic officer.”

Questioned by Deputy Ó Cuív about the potential cost, the minister said “it is not possible to give a definitive figure for the projected establishment and other costs for the Vatican Embassy in 2014 because this will depend on a number of factors which have yet to be determined in consultation with the host authorities”.

“However, it is anticipated that the annual costs for the re-opened embassy will be significantly reduced compared with the annual cost of running the embassy in previous years. This is due to the relocation of our Embassy to the Italian Republic to the accommodation formerly occupied by the Embassy to the Holy See, which will deliver ongoing savings in the combined overall cost of Ireland’s representation to the Holy See and the Italian Republic,” Minister Donohoe said.