Ireland’s diplomatic service forced to shop for bargain basement gifts
Government hands over $10 cufflinks in cost cutting measure
Ireland’s economic collapse has hit the diplomatic gift business – Irish ambassadors across the world are now handing over $10 cufflinks and $15 key rings to dignitaries.
As part of its new austerity measures, the government has cracked down heavily on gifts according to the Irish Sun newspaper.
A report in the paper says that Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has ordered embassies to shop in the bargain basement.
Minister Gilmore himself has spent just $3000 on gifts since he entered office last year.
The paper says his biggest expenditure was on his first official function when UK Foreign Secretary William Hague was presented with a framed Failte Ogham script stone, valued at $250.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NY city council speaker Christine Quinn were both presented with a $150 Bernadette Madden print when Gilmore visited America a year ago.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping received a $160 chess set during his visit to Dublin last year.
An official trip to eastern European states in April saw the presidents of Armenia and Georgia gifted $75 bog oak pens.
Blue harp design cufflinks, priced at just $10, were handed out by Minister Richard Bruton on a trip to Kenya three months ago.
The Department of Foreign Affairs told the Irish Sun: “Gift-giving is standard international practice in the context of ministerial and other high-level visits.”
It was also stressed that presents were sourced in Ireland and of Irish interest.
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"I believe that it is open to debate whether the Communist Party has any specific role to play at this particular stage of our political struggleRacist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
Blimey, Chuck! Sounds like what is going on in the construction industry in the UK now happened 30 years ago in the USA. Can't say we weren't warned..Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
Wow...........with a population of 4,600,000 in the Republic and approximately 15% non national its obviously a huge problemRacist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent says Immigrant Council
Plus you have 3-5 million people of Irish ancestry living in the island of Britain as well. Most of the people I went to school with were sons and dau