Ambassador on way to Sweden
DUNDALK-born ambassador to the Czech Republic, Donal Hamill, is leaving Prague and returning to Stockholm – the city of his very first posting almost 30 years ago.
Mr Hamill, who is originally from Dublin Street, told the Argus that he will be finishing up in Prague next month, before taking up his position in Stockholm at the start of November.
It is a move that brings back many happy memories for Mr Hamill and his wife, Bernadette.
He said: 'I'm looking forward to going back to Stockholm. It was where I was first posted in the 1970s and our son Sean was born there.'
Looking back on his four years in the Czech Republic, Mr Hamill said the relationship between Dublin and Prague has strengthened and deepened.
He said: 'There has been rapid growth in the trade sector between the two countries over the past few years and Irish investment in the Czech Republic has been substantial.
'There's a very deep relationship between us that will be there to take advantage of the economic upturn when it comes.
'Many thousands of people from the Czech Republic have come to Ireland to work and they have made a substantial economic and cultural contribution.
'The two countries seem to work well together and I look forward to that continuing.'
Mr Hamill is heading to Stockholm at a time when the Swedish have the EU presidency, having taken over from the Czech Republic.
It was during Prague's presidency that the Irish secured the guarantees on the Lisbon Treaty.
He said he hopes to build on links in Sweden that he's maintained over the years when he heads to Stockholm for the annually reviewed posting.
Mr Hamill said he hopes to return to Ireland for the Christmas period and will come back to Dundalk to visit his close-knit family and friends.
He said: 'My children are living in Ireland now and we hope to get to see them around Christmas. That will of course include a trip to Dundalk.'