O hUiginn appointed as Ambassador to US


THE appointment of the new Ambassador to the United States, Mr Sean O hUiginn, has been confirmed to The Irish Times. Mr O hUiginn will swap posts with the present Ambassador, Mr Dermot Gallagher, who will return to Dublin to head the Anglo Irish division at a critical period in the peace process.

The Irish Times reported on these appointments last February but the official announcement of Mr O hUiginn going to Washing ton was delayed as is normal until the agreement or approval by the US government was received.

Mr Gallagher's appointment was not announced yesterday but was confirmed to The Irish Times.

Other ambassadorial appointments announced yesterday are the move of Mr Eamonn Ryan from Portugal to Belgium and of Mr Pat Cradock from Belgium to Greece,

Mr O hUiginn, who was born in 1944 in Co Mayo, was consul general in New York from 1980 to 1983. He has also served as Ambassador in Saudi Arabia and Denmark. He has headed the AngloIrish division from 1991 but was promoted to the new post of Second Secretary in 1995 when the Coalition came to power while continuing to head the division. Mr O hUiginn will retain the Second Secretary title.

Mr Gallagher, who also has the title of Deputy Secretary, served for an exceptionally lengthy term as Ambassador in Washington. He was also accredited to Mexico. He was part of the sensitive discussions with the Clinton administration leading up to the 1994 IRA ceasefire and the granting of a US visa to the Sinn Fein president, Mr Gerry Adams, earlier that year.

Mr Ryan was born in Waterford in 1936. He entered the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1973. After stints in Paris and at headquarters, he was appointed Ambassador to Egypt in 1985.

Mr Cradock was born in Cork in 1943. He served as consul general in Hamburg and as counsellor in Bonn and Paris before being appointed as Ambassador to Nigeria in 1989, when he was also accredited to Zambia, Zimbabwe and Ghana.