I am honoured and delighted to serve as Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada. Representing Ireland here in this great country is both an honour and a privilege.
Canada rightly takes pride in its commitment to rights and fundamental freedoms and to the values of international order and the rule of international law.
Ireland and Canada share long, complex and intense relationships with Britain, relationships that have evolved and changed over the years to the point now of genuine partnership.
Both Ireland and Canada enjoy close and productive relations with the United States today, against an historical background where Irish emigrants in both countries played key and often decisive roles in politics, society, business and culture.
The depth of Irish heritage in Canada, the contribution of the Irish to the development of Canada as a society and as state, the deep ties and vibrant relations today between Ireland and Canada provide a rich and enriching agenda for all of the team here at the Embassy in Ottawa and at the Consulate in Vancouver.
Building on their great work, and that of my predecessors, I hope to enhance and expand our relations, culturally, socially, intellectually, and economically.
People-to-people contacts have increased enormously between Ireland and Canada in recent years, boosted by renewed emigration, the opportunities afforded to Ireland by EU membership and CETA, and the increased number of political visits in each direction.
I know all of us in Team Ireland, including our colleagues in Enterprise Ireland and the IDA based in Toronto, will continue to build and expand on this renewed relationship in the years to come.
In that effort, we have the enormous support of our seven Honorary Consuls and the tremendously vibrant Irish community across Canada.
Economic relations between Ireland and Canada have also blossomed. CETA promises even greater advances as that Agreement beds in and its opportunities are seized. This will be vitally important work for both Canada and Ireland as we wrestle to bring about economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I am looking forward to travelling across Canada when opportunity allows and to meeting all of our friends, partners, and communities. With almost one in seven Canadians boasting Irish heritage, I know this will be no mean feat, but I look forward to meeting and communicating with as many of you as possible.
In the meantime, in this brave new world of Zoom calls and digital outreach, I hope to find ways to virtually engage with your communities, and look forward to doing so.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you well in these difficult times and to hope that you and your families stay safe and well.
With best wishes,
Note: Dr. Eamonn McKee became Ambassador of Ireland to Canada in October 2019. He virtually presented his credentials to the Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, on the 13th of October 2020.