A leading politician has called on Enda Kenny to come clean on the decision to close Ireland’s embassy at the Vatican.
Fianna Fail deputy leader Eamon O Cuiv has claimed that the closure is linked to the government’s recent row with the Holy See.
Now O Cuiv, grandson of former Irish President Eamon de Valera, has joined the debate and challenged Kenny and his government to tell the truth.
“The decision to close the Irish Embassy to the Holy See in the Vatican was purely a political one and the Government should have the guts to say that is what it was,” said O Cuiv.
“It is nonsense to insist it was not a political decision, and it was most definitely not a fiscal decision.”
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Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore stated publicly last week that cost cutting measures are the only reason why the embassy will shut down early next year.
Gilmore has said that the government will save almost a million dollars by closing the facility in the Vatican. The embassy in Tehran and a consulate in East Timor are also to close.
Religious leaders in Ireland and Rome have slammed the decision to end diplomatic relations with the Vatican however as relations worsen between Church and State after a series of child sex abuse scandals.
The Pope himself is said to have been annoyed by the announcement, just months after the Vatican’s row with Prime Minister Enda Kenny over the Cloyne report into clerical sex abuse in the Cork diocese.