The Irish diplomat credited with enhancing relations between Ireland and the Vatican is to return to Dublin after completing her post in Rome, Emma Madigan – who was appointed Irish Ambassador to the Holy See in 2014 – is to be replaced by Derek Hannon who is expected to present his credentials to Pope Francis in coming months.
Ms Madigan – along with former papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown – is widely acknowledged in political circles to have contributed to smoothing relations between Rome and Dublin after a tense period which saw then Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore close the Irish Embassy at the Vatican. At the time, it was reported that the move was due to costs. However, it was widely perceived as a rebuke to the Vatican over Church mishandling of allegations of clerical abuse.
One of Ms Madigan’s first tasks in Rome was to re-open a new Irish embassy to the Vatican, sited just metres from St Peter’s Square. She will return to an appointment within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin.