Hundreds of baby vests and T-shirts have been placed on a beach in Dublin this week, with each one representing a child who died during the 50-day conflict between Gaza and Israel last year. The installation was made by a group of artists who wanted to remember the children killed in the war last summer.
lIn a world fraught with local, national and international fissures, animosities, and violent conflict, the Republic of Ireland stands far above the fray as a stellar example of how a country's verve for the written and spoken word can undergird the conduct of its foreign policy. Simply said, Dublin's adroit use of public diplomacy is a lesson for those who are wedded to an overweening dependency on military, political, and economic prowess as the sole instruments to promote and protect national interests.
Friday is International Day of Francophonie. Ireland ranks high in Europe for use of French but we must not lose this language link between the two countries. French is not only the language of arts, culture and diplomacy, it is another language of business.
Ireland’s foreign service is relatively small, with 80 representations, and comparatively thinly spread, with an average of one to two people in each post. But it is talented, flexible and normally led by generalists well able to represent the State in a great variety of international settings.
Ireland is to donate another €778,000 to Sierra Leone to help fuel a fleet of ambulances and burial vehicles in the Ebola-hit country. It brings Ireland's total contribution in the affected countries in West Africa to over €18m in 2014.