Ambassador’s Message – Twitter Roundup September/October

The trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry,

Under the October twilight the water

Mirrors a still sky;

                                                                   (WB Yeats)

You may not be following me on Twitter, so I’ve pulled together some recent items that you might find interesting about Ireland and Israel, now and in the past, being as we’re in the decade of commemorations.

As you’ll have seen from my recent message, the economic news is positive. This link is to the ESRI’s Autumn Economic Commentary;

http://esri.ie/news_events/latest_press_releases/latest-esri-forecast-pred/index.xml

The ESRI predicts “a growth in GNP of 4.9 percent in 2014 and of 5.2 percent in 2014. Declines in unemployment are also forecast, with the headline rate envisaged to fall to 9.6 per cent in 2015.”

Our tourism sector has been doing particularly well. We got an added boost from the Lonely Planet guide which has named Ireland as one of the top places to visit; http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/travel/lonely-planet-names-ireland-as-one-of-the-top-countries-to-visit-1.1971225#.VEZD7Y-tdrs.twitter

Another major story back home is Northern Ireland.  You are probably aware that a number of issues have been dogging the peace process, specifically parades, flags, dealing with the past and domestic policy issues like welfare reform.  Talks are now underway to try to resolve these issues. Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan is representing the Government. You can read the Taoiseach’s welcome for this development here; http://www.merrionstreet.ie/index.php/2014/10/statement-by-the-taoiseach-enda-kenny-t-d-on-the-commencement-of-political-talks-in-northern-ireland

The US is strongly supportive, as ever.  Secretary of State Kerry has appointed former US Senator Gary Harte as his personal representative on Northern Ireland. Minister Flanagan welcomes this development here; https://www.dfa.ie/news-and-media/press-releases/press-release-archive/2014/october/minister-flanagan-appointment-of-former-us-senator

The decade of commemorations is truly underway with the centenary of the start of World War I.  Irish engagement in the Armistice Day ceremonies marks a new level of recognition of the many Irish who fought and died in the war under a British flag.  Reflecting this, and the new level of concord in Anglo-Irish relations, Minister Flanagan welcomed an invitation from the British Government to Ireland to lay a wreath at the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in London in November.  His statement ion the invitation is here; https://www.dfa.ie/news-and-media/press-releases/press-release-archive/2014/october/minister-flanagan-british-invitation-wreath-laying

We are also on the countdown to the centennial commemoration of the 1916 Rising.  This is a link to a great website to keep track of developments one hundred years ago in Ireland; http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland

A hundred years ago this September, the core group of rebels who would launch the Rising had their first meeting in Dublin.  As reported in Century Ireland, seven of the future signatories of the 1916 Proclamation met in the library of the Gaelic League on what is now Parnell Square, just a few hundred yards from the GPO which would become the iconic headquarters for the rebels;   the report is here

http://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/articles/coldly-and-deliberately-planned

The horrors of the Nazi regime continue to unfold as archivists and historians find new sources, notably since the fall of the Soviet Union.  This New York Times story from Poland has a particularly nightmarish quality because it concerns not just the period of the Holocaust but unremembered victims of the Soviet era whose remains are being regularly uncovered; http://t.co/Jz5PfA5uRS

This piece caught my eye from the Irish Times.  It is a commemoration of those Irish who “fought, spied and died” fighting the Nazis in France;

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/paris-honours-irish-who-fought-spied-and-died-for-france-1.1954055#.VDOJRHCbthw.twitter

Closer to home, Minister Flanagan attended the Cairo Conference on the Reconstruction of Gaza, pledging €2.5 million in support.  His statement is here; https://www.dfa.ie/news-and-media/press-releases/press-release-archive/2014/october/gaza-reconstruction-conference-cairo

Juxtaposing Northern Ireland and Israel, you might be interested in this article from the Jerusalem Post about the impressions four Northern Irish visitors had of Israel and the contrasts and comparisons between the respective conflicts; http://www.jpost.com/landedpages/printarticle.aspx?id=376432

We should be very proud of this group of Irish school girls who made Time Magazine’s list of most influential teenagers in the world for their research on early crop germination; http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/cork-schoolgirls-make-time-list-of-most-influential-teenagers-1.1962294#.VD0Kk2y6JjY.twitter

So that should give you a flavour of my Twitter account; the odd bit of poetry and some spectacular photos of Ireland also crop up.  If you’re not planning to join Twitter, you’ll be able to catch up on our new Embassy website which we should be launching in the next week or so.

Best wishes and Shabbat Shalom,

Eamonn

Eamonn McKee

Ambassador

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