From “The Island of Malta and the Ireland of Malta,” with Ambassador Giovanni Buttigieg and the Irish Stew Podcast.

Malta’s Ambassador to Ireland Giovanni Buttigieg explains the unexpected connections between the island nations of Ireland and Malta, especially for his hometown of Floriana, and  why he is “Maltese by birth, Irish by the grace of God.”

Ambassador Giovanni Buttigieg traces the Irish connection back to an 1895 visit to Floriana by an Irish Cardinal who went to Rome to advocate for the sainthood of one of their own, and a 1905 football match when the Royal Dublin Fusiliers gave the Floriana side their green and white striped jerseys, colors the Floriana Irish, as they are still known, wear to this day.

The ambassador relates how football helped renew the Irish connections when Malta “turned green” as thousands of Irish fans set up base camp for flights to Sicily for the 1990 World Cup matches there. The Irish have been coming back ever since as tourists who fill Malta-bound planes to capacity.

He tells of his time as Consul for Malta in New York and as Deputy Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations, how reading an Irish poem a day prepared him for his dream posting to Dublin, presenting his diplomatic credentials to President Michael D. Higgins, Ireland and Malta’s shared legacy of British colonial rule, whether he is related to that other Buttigieg…and why he likes Irish weather.

The Irish Stew Podcast's fifth season opened with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barbara Walsh, check it out here.

Irish Stew Podcast

Irish Stew, the podcast for the global Irish nation, features interviews with fascinating influencers proud of their Irish Edge. If you're Irish-born or hyphenated Irish, this is the podcast that brings all the Irish together. The podcast is hosted by John Lee and Martin Nutty.

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