Sunday 30 April 2017

Vatican exit

•I am appalled that the Government is considering ending its diplomatic presence in the Vatican. Ireland has had an association with the Holy See since Pope Celestine I sent his first envoy to Ireland in the early fifth century.

Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore claims that this decision was taken due to a supposed nil economic return from maintaining an embassy in Rome, but I wonder is that sufficient justification?

Besides, when one peruses the Department of Foreign Affairs website, it appears that the State maintains a variety of diplomatic missions in many far-flung states. We maintain a consulate in Zimbabwe (at 2 Robert Mugabe road, Harare) and I wonder what 'economic return' do we derive from bilateral relations with that state?

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