Champagne diplomacy

Sir, – It's surprising that top Irish officials chose to celebrate Ireland's winning of a seat on the UN Security Council by quaffing bottles of Moët & Chandon ("Department staff held champagne event during lockdown", News, December 29th). Since Ireland's UN bid only succeeded because of the staunch support of Saudi Arabia and its allies, surely a non-alcoholic libation would have been more respectful and appropriate? The Irish officials could even have celebrated by downing cups of Chinese tea as a nod to Beijing's quiet support for their campaign. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 13.

A chara, – I hope the picture of Department of Foreign Affairs staff celebrating Ireland’s election in June 2020 to a seat on the UN Security Council is not used to further reinforce the suggestion that Covid rules are made by “them” but apply only to “us”. I remember gardaí regularly dispersing crowds of us ordinary citizens breaching Covid regulations on street drinking in Dublin in November 2020, which is hardly an example of only the privileged and powerful breaking the rules. The popular media narrative that the privileged and powerful make the Covid rules and then break them is not supported by the evidence. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.

Sir, – I suggest that the somewhat hyped reaction to the photo taken in Iveagh House 18 months ago needs to be put in perspective. No one but the individuals shown would have been possibly adversely affected. The Department of Foreign Affairs staff are available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week in any emergency across the world. Who recalls nowadays the highly dangerous work involved in the fraught missions in Afghanistan, the post-tsunami devastation in Indonesia and elsewhere? In addition, there are the multiple times grieving relatives at home were grateful for the quiet and efficient diplomatic consular work undertaken when tragedy struck abroad for one of their relations. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. – Yours, etc,


Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – To celebrate Ireland’s election to the UN Security Council, senior officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs drank bottles of an expensive imported drink, Moët & Chandon champagne. Surely such “moments of happiness” should be honoured with locally produced beverages. A pint of plain is your only man. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – The jolly and the Iveagh! – Yours, etc,


Dalkey, Co Dublin.

Sir, – That’s New Year’s Eve sorted for me. Iveagh House! – Yours, etc,


Dublin 6.