The Irish government has reopened its consulate in Wales after 10 years of no diplomatic hub in Cardiff.
The Ambassador of Ireland to the UK, Mr. Adrian O’Neill, welcomed the re-opening of the Consulate General of Ireland in Wales last week.
The consulate will be led by the recently-appointed Consul General Denise Hanrahan. In 2009, Ireland closed its Welsh diplomatic office in 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis.
Ireland is Wales’ fourth largest trading partner and the Welsh Government has a full-time representative based in the British Embassy in Dublin.
According to Ireland’s Department for Foreign Affairs, there are currently an estimated 85 Irish companies with a presence in Wales, employing some 5,500 people.
Warm and constructive introductory meeting in Cardiff with @fmwales @walesintheworld @AdrianGONeill and new Irish Consul in Wales, Denise Hanrahan. Looking forward to strengthening and deepening the ties between us as the Consulate re-opens https://t.co/3jl5nkvzUn pic.twitter.com/gJy81pkW57
— Ireland In Wales (@irelandinwales) May 29, 2019
Speaking in Cardiff last week, O’Neill said the re-opening of the Consulate highlights the importance of the relationship between Ireland and Wales, and is part of Ireland’s expansion of its diplomatic network under the “Global Ireland” initiative.
The Consulate in Cardiff will have a governmental and economic focus and will play an important role in “supporting the strengthening and deepening of the existing relationships between Ireland and Wales”.
During the visit, the Ambassador and the Consul General met with a number of political leaders including the Rt. Hon. Mr. Mark Drakeford, AM, First Minister of Wales and Ms. Eluned Morgan, AM, Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, as well as Mr. Adam Price, AM, leader of Plaid Cymru.
“I am delighted that Ireland’s Consulate in Cardiff is now open and I welcome Denise Hanrahan, the new Consul General, as part of Team Ireland in Great Britain,” O’Neill said.
“Ireland and Wales share a very special bond and relationship, and the Consulate will play an important role in maintaining and deepening these ties, both historic and current. I would like to thank the Welsh Government and the British Government for their support with this re-opening.”
The new Consul General, Denise Hanrahan, said she is looking forward to getting to know Wales and its people better.
“I am proud and delighted to take up the role of Consul General at this important moment in the relationship between Ireland and Wales. We are connected at many levels – historic, economic, cultural, academic, sporting and governmental – and there is clear potential to grow these connections even more,” she added.
The Global Ireland initiative will see Ireland open at least 26 new diplomatic missions and strengthen its existing diplomatic network. Since the initiative was launched last year, Ireland has opened new Embassies in Wellington, Bogotá, Amman, Monrovia and Santiago de Chile, and new Consulates General in Vancouver, Mumbai and now Cardiff.
The expansion will include new Consulates General in Los Angeles and Frankfurt in 2019, and Embassies in Kyiv, Manila and Rabat shortly thereafter.