The Week: News highlights from Ireland, here, and around the world…
U2 lobbies to get Ireland on UN’s security council
All ambassadors to the United Nations in New York are to be invited to U2’s Madison Square Garden concert on 1 July in an attempt by the Irish government to support its campaign to win a temporary seat on the UN’s security council.
Ireland is competing against Canada and Norway for two seats as non-permanent members of the Security Council when the seat becomes available in 2021. If Ireland is successful it and France will be the only EU countries to sit on the Security Council, the UK having left the EU.
Ireland’s UN delegation sent out ”save the date” invitations to every ambassador at the UN for the “curtain raiser” of Ireland’s campaign launch at the U2 concert and to its special Irish pavilion at the UN the following day.
U2 is to cover the cost of more than 400 guests at their “UN at U2” launch.
Lough Neagh island for rent
The National Trust is offering men and women the chance to live on Coney Island on Lough Neagh. The nine acre island is a thousand metres off the shore at Maghery in Co Armagh, half an hour from Portadown and an hour from Belfast.
Previous inhabitants have included St Patrick and the O’Neills and it has been occupied on and off for some 6,000 years. Its most recent permanent occupant was the 7th Viscount Charlemont who built a three bedroom home there in 1895 – being offered for rent by the National Trust – and was buried in a tower there in 1913.
For obvious reasons, it is off the electricity grid. This means the householder will have to learn how to operate a generator and cut their own firewood.
The National Trust’s Edward Mason said the house is not for everyone: “If you are in to gaming or watching box-sets this is probably not for you. What we are looking for is someone who is caring for nature. Someone who wants to spend time away from the stresses and strains of modern day living.
“Someone who is resourceful and can take the elements that will be thrown at them throughout the year.”
Ireland’s diplomatic corps needs Spanish and Chinese
Ireland’s ambassadors need better language skills especially in Spanish and Chinese, says country’s top diplomat The head of Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Niall Burgess said this week it will need to bee “much more linguistically diverse” after Brexit.
The foreign service intends to increase by almost a third the number of its foreign missions over the next seven years as part of the country’s Global Ireland 2025 initiative.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tánaiste and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney last week unveiled their plan to increase Ireland’s “global foot- print” by adding another 26 embassies and consulates to its 80-strong network of diplomatic missions.
The Department’s Secretary General Mr Burgess said the department needs to plug language gaps in Spanish and Chinese.
“We are going to have to be more linguistically capable if we are going to function effectively, not just in the new markets we are entering now but across the European Union ” he told The Irish Times.
He compared Ireland to similarly sized and said there are 13 Irish missions in the Asia-Pacific region to Denmark’s 20. But equally Ireland is the only small or medium-sized member state with an embassy in every EU capital which he described as “an enormous asset to us now”.