US ambassador to Ireland not affected by Trump order

Kevin O’Malley had already planned to leave his post before the inauguration date

US president-elect Donald Trump's order that all ambassadors appointed by president Barack Obama leave their posts by January 20th has not affected the departure plans of the US ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O'Malley.

The terms of political-appointed ambassadors always end when the sitting president steps down.

However, Mr Trump’s order meant no ambassador appointed by Mr Obama could stay on in a temporary or interim capacity after Mr Trump’s inauguration on January 20th.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Ireland confirmed that Mr O’Malley had planned for his tenure as ambassador to end before that date.


The ambassador will fulfil his duties until January 18th, before flying back to the US on January 20th.

It is believed this plan was in place before the order was made by Mr Trump’s transitional team on December 23rd.

The order was issued “without exceptions” and allows no grace period, which could leave some key US allies without an ambassador for some months.


Mr O'Malley is a lawyer from St Louis in Missouri. He is considered a leading authority on jury instructions in trials.

He was appointed as ambassador to Ireland by Mr Obama in 2014.

He has strong Irish connections. His grandparents were natives of Co Mayo who emigrated to the US in the first half of the 20th-century.

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times