•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?