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Ireland plans to reopen embassy to Holy See

DUBLIN (CNS): Just over three years after closing its embassy to the Holy See, the government of Ireland announced that it was preparing to reopen its diplomatic doors and and appoint a new residential ambassador. 

On January 21 the tanaiste and minister for foreign affairs, Eamon Gilmore, said the embassy will “enable Ireland to engage directly with the leadership of Pope Francis on the issues of poverty eradication, hunger and human rights.” 

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, from Dublin, welcomed the decision calling it  “a very constructive exercise.” He noted that the Vatican remains an important place of interchange on questions of global development and added that a resident ambassador will enhance relations between the Vatican and Ireland. 

Gilmore came under fire for closing the embassy in November 2011. At the time, the government claimed the closure was a cost-saving move, a notion rejected by opposition politicians who accused Gilmore of wanting to downgrade relations with the Vatican amid tensions over the Church’s handling of allegations of sexual abuse against priests.


Brendan Smith, spokesperson on foreign affairs for the opposition Fianna Fail party, welcomed the move saying, “The reasons given for closing the embassy in the first instance were completely bogus and it was a mistake.”......

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