The Dublin government has again confirmed that the decision to close the Irish Embassy in the Vaticanstands.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has stated that the closure will remain in place despite renewed pleas from Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin.
Speaking before a mass to welcome the new Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Dr Martin expressed his wish that the embassy to the Holy See be restored.
“I am confident the embassy will re-open in some other way,” said Dr Martin who expressed his belief that the Italian and Vatican embassies could be on the same site, and share some facilities, while remaining separate.
He added: “Maybe it could be a leaner embassy because of the cost involved. I do not think it will be long before other arrangements are found maybe not immediately.”
Catholicleaders and even some Fine Gael deputies in the Irish parliament have made recent calls to re-open the embassy.
But Irish deputy Prime Minister Eamonn Gilmore is adamant that the decision, taken in the wake of the Cloyne Report on Clerical Sexual Abuse as relations between Church and State soured, is not for turning.
His claims have been re-iterated by the statement from the Foreign Affairs department which he oversees.
“It may be reviewed down the line in the light of the economic circumstances and the resources available to the department and our diplomatic network abroad but not in the near future,” said a Department spokesman.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny remains under pressure from within his own ranks to reverse the decision to close the embassy at the Vatican.
Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton, effectively number two to Gilmore in the Foreign Affairs department, was among a large number of deputies who last month met a group of lay Catholics seeking the embassy’s retention.
Creighton said at the time: “There will be an opportunity in the future - perhaps not as quickly as we might like - to reopen the embassy.”