Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs today announced proposals for four new Missions around the world to add to the Irish Government’s Global Ireland programme, as well as a number of ambassadorial shakeups.

Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said on Tuesday: “Our Global Ireland programme, launched in June 2018, is now demonstrably providing a robust foundation for a broader, deeper engagement for Ireland with the world, and will be a major platform in renewing international connections and getting Ireland back on the world stage.”

New Global Ireland initiatives

Major 'Global Ireland' package of initiatives has been agreed by Government today to help renew our international connections and get Ireland back on the world stage after COVID-19#GlobalIreland 🌍 🇮🇪

Link to release:

— Irish Foreign Ministry (@dfatirl) July 27, 2021

Coveney officially proposed four new overseas Missions - new Consulates General in Miami (United States of America), Toronto (Canada), Lyon (France), and a new Embassy in Dakar (Senegal).

Coveney also announced ambassadorial shakeups. The Irish government has asked both the Ambassador to the United Kingdom Adrian O’Neill and Ambassador to the United Nations Geraldine Byrne-Nason to continue in these vital roles for one further year.

Secretary-General in Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Niall Burgess will take up a new role as Ambassador of Ireland to France. 

Ambassador Patricia O’Brien will be appointed Ambassador to Italy, replacing Ambassador Colm Ó Floinn. 

Deputy-Secretary General Brendan Rogers will also be appointed Irish Ambassador to the Netherlands, replacing Ambassador Kevin Kelly.

Secretary-General in the Department of the Taoiseach Martin Fraser will be appointed Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom in 2022. 

Geraldine Byrne-Nason will at this time also replace Dan Mulhall as the Ambassador of Ireland to the United States and vacate her role as Ambassador to the United Nations, which will be filled by Fergal Mythen, currently Director-General of the Ireland, UK and Americas Division in DFA.

Additionally, Katherine Zappone has been appointed as a Special Envoy on Freedom of Opinion and Expression. This appointment will provide enhanced capacity for engagement on Irish human rights priorities, according to the DFA.

Coveney today provided an update on Ireland’s membership and active engagement on the UN Security Council since January 1, highlighting particular achievements including the renewal of the mandate for cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid into North West Syria; the facilitation of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) on the Council; and the leadership role that Ireland has played on the situation in Tigray, Ethiopia. 

Ireland, which is in the midst of its two-year term on the UN’s Security Council, has been active across the full range of country situations on the Council agenda, including the Middle East Peace Process, Yemen, Myanmar, Libya, Afghanistan, and Colombia.

Elsewhere, Coveney said that a successful bid and hosting of the America’s Cup would be a significant expression of, and activation platform for, the Government’s Global Ireland initiative. 

He added that the event would establish Ireland as a leader of the Blue Economy within the EU and inspire a new generation of technologists in third level education through the application of engineering and science to sport.

The Minister said a successful bid would “fast-track Project Ireland 2040 investment in Cork, in particular Cork Harbour’s ambition in becoming Ireland’s offshore renewable energy hub by supporting €5bn capital deployment in wind projects, creating 10,000 jobs over the next decade.”