Speech of Dermot Ahern TD Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Launch of Documents on Irish Foreign Policy, Volume IV 9th November, 2004 Part II
Today’s markets are usually more far-flung, and the products involved somewhat more diverse that they were then, but the principle remains strikingly similar.
Elsewhere, Ireland’s diplomatic links with Europe and the USA, and with Irish communities abroad continued to be fostered and, on the eve of the Spanish Civil War, an Irish mission opened in Madrid.
This brought to nine the total of Irish missions opened abroad.
Today’s network of missions abroad numbers more than sixty, including both bilateral and multilateral posts.
I hope to see some further strategic expansion of this network soon, particularly in the new and future member states of the EU.
I was glad to read that in 1932, the then Minister for Finance, Seán McEntee, urged the Minister for Foreign Affairs to open additional missions abroad at the earliest opportunity.
In the Estimates process, support is always appreciated, particularly from globally-minded Ministers for Finance.
It is also fascinating to note the developing self-confidence and sense of place of the diplomats writing in this period. They were, by this point, seasoned by over a decade of active engagement on the international scene.
This experience would prove to be vital in the period to follow, when Ireland had to steer a delicate course in a Europe descending into crisis and war.
This is the fourth volume of the Documents in Irish Foreign Policy series. The volumes are of the highest quality. They have been, I am delighted to say, produced on time. They remain at a price which makes them accessible to the public. And they represent a real and successful partnership between my Department, the Royal Irish Academy and the National Archives.
To further cement this partnership I believe that the financial underpinning for the project should now be placed on a firmer footing.
I have decided therefore, starting this year, to increase significantly the level of support for the project. This is in recognition of a job well done, and as an encouragement to continue doing this excellent work in the future.
I look forward to future volumes of the project and wish all involved continued success.
9th November 2004