Taoiseach Leo Varadkar formally opened the new Irish Consulate in Miami, Florida on Thursday, September 21.

The Consulate General of Ireland in Miami is the eighth consulate in Ireland's US network and was established under the 2018 Global Ireland strategy, which aims to double Ireland's diplomatic footprint around the world. 

Miami was chosen as the latest location for an Irish consulate due to Florida's ever-increasing political and economic importance. Florida is also home to a large Irish community, with seven different direct flights flying from Ireland to Florida, four of which are year-round. 

The new consulate has been scaling up operations since opening last October and is now responsible for the states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Kilkenny native Sarah Kavanagh serves as the Consul General of Ireland in Miami.

Speaking on X, formerly known as Twitter, following the opening of the new consulate, Varadkar said it was important that Ireland has a base in Florida. 

"Florida is now the third most populated state after California and Texas. It has a very big economy and it’s important that Ireland should have a base here," Varadkar said in a post. 

"The Consulate will also provide services to many Irish citizens and visitors and will host our office of the Caribbean.

"With the opening of the Consulate General in Miami, Ireland is now represented by a network of eight Consulates, working under the leadership of our Embassy in Washington DC to advance our goals and interests in the United States." 

Great to officially open the new Irish Consulate General in Miami, Florida. @IrelandCGMiami

The United States is among our most important partners, economically, politically, culturally, and in terms of our people-to-people relationships. @CordByrd @MiamiMayor pic.twitter.com/d3dLBVPNZC

— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) September 22, 2023

The official opening was also attended by Ireland's Ambassador to the US Geraldine Byrne Nason. 

Started off today in Miami with the landmark opening by the Taoiseach of Ireland’s newest Consulate in the US @IrelandCGMiami! 🇺🇸🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/sboC2uMLRd

— Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason (@IrelandAmbUSA) September 21, 2023

During his visit to Miami, the Taoiseach met with Florida’s Secretary of State, Cord Byrd; the Mayor of Miami Dade County, Daniella Levine Cava; the Chairman of the Miami Dade County Commission, Oliver Gilbert III, along with Commissioners Eileen Higgins, Kevin Marino Cabrera and Jose Carlos Bermudez; Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez; the Mayor of Miami Beach, Dan Gelber; and members of the Miami Beach Commission.

He also addressed a large gathering of Irish community members, and political and economic contacts of the Consulate at the Wolfsonian-Florida International Museum and was presented with a key to the City of Miami Beach by Mayor Dan Gelber. 

Varadkar was additionally shown a preview of an exhibition on the Celtic Revival which has Harry Clarke’s famous “Geneva Window” as its centerpiece. 

Stunning Harry Clarke Window at the @wolfsonian museum in Miami where the Taoiseach met with the enthusiastic local Irish community! ☘️ pic.twitter.com/Rz32y3mG2L

— Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason (@IrelandAmbUSA) September 21, 2023

You can learn more about the Consulate General of Miami here.