Ireland’s most senior civil servant to become ambassador to London

Changes envisaged for London, Rome, Paris, Washington, The Hague and UN

The current secretary general to the Government, Martin Fraser, is to move to London next year to become Ireland's ambassador to the UK.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney will bring a memo to Cabinet on Tuesday with new plans for six of Ireland's biggest missions including London, Rome, Paris, Washington, The Hague and the permanent mission to the UN.

The Ambassador in London, Adrian O’Neill, will have his term extended for one year and he will then be succeeded by Mr Fraser.

Ireland's Ambassador to the United Nations, Geraldine Byrne Nason, will stay on for one more year before moving to Washington DC to take over as Ireland's ambassador to the US.


She will be replaced in the UN by Fergal Mythen who is an assistant secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

New missions

As part of the shake-up, the Irish Ambassador to Paris, Patricia O'Brien, will move to Rome and be replaced by Niall Burgess, the secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Assistant secretary in the department Brendan Rogers will also be appointed to The Hague later this year.

The Minister is also expected to announce four new missions, including an expansion of operations in France with the opening of a consul general in Lyon, the aim of which is to deepen economic ties with France post-Brexit.

Mr Coveney is also expected to update the Cabinet on Ireland’s bid to host the prestigious America’s cup in 2024. The cup that concluded on March 17th this year had a global viewership of 940 million.

Common Agricultural Policy

He will tell Ministers that Ireland has progressed to the final stage of judging with a final decision due in eight or so weeks. There are only a small number of finalists, it is understood.

Meanwhile, Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will bring a memo on the €10.77 billion Common Agricultural Policy strategic plan.

The CAP plan must be submitted this year to safeguard about €2 billion of vital farm payments in 2023.

The next CAP has the highest-ever level of climate ambition, with more environmental measures contained within the plan. A nationwide farmer consultation will take place in the coming months.

Separately, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will tell Cabinet of plans for the construction of a new €100 million waste water treatment plant in Arklow town, currently one of the biggest areas in the country without one.

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times