Gilmore gives support to US ambassador
TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore has backed the decision by US President Barack Obama to appoint Kevin O'Malley as the new US ambassador to Ireland.
The White House formally unveiled Mr O'Malley – a second-generation Irishman – as the next ambassador, 17 months after the position was made vacant.
Mr O'Malley's appointment has been met with surprise by some within diplomatic circles due to his relatively minor profile.
However, Mr Gilmore said his appointment will serve to strengthen the relationship between Ireland and the US.
"It is important that there be a resident US Ambassador here, to reflect the extraordinary strength and depth of the relationship that exists between our two countries," Mr Gilmore said.
Mr O'Malley is St Louis-based and a devout Catholic. He is a strong supporter of Mr Obama and his grandfather is from Co Mayo. Mr Obama last night referred to Mr O'Malley as impressive, adding that he will lend "considerable talent" to the role.
Vice President Joe Biden tweeted: "If you're lucky enough to be Irish, then you're really lucky to be the ambassador to Ireland. Called nominee Kevin O'Malley. Congrats."