Leaks halt weekly Brexit report
Sir, – It is not surprising that the Department of Foreign Affairs is no longer circulating its Brexit update. (Department ends circulation of weekly Brexit report after ‘very serious’ leak, irishtimes.com, December 14th).
The document seems to have contained little more than the private, off-the-record comments of different European politicians and civil servants, comments that were never intended for publication. These comments were remembered and recorded by the Irish officials to whom they were made. This compendium of gossip was then circulated to 40 people, many of whom might not have been under any oath of confidentiality, and who in turn probably forwarded it to many others.
Although I have no inner knowledge of how the world of international tact and diplomacy operates, it appears to me to have been a betrayal of trust on the part of the Irish officials.
Officials from other countries will be wary of communicating with Irish officials in the future, and it will take considerable time for the Irish diplomatic community to recover its credibility. It should have been clear from the beginning that the publication of such a weekly circular could only have ended in tears. – Yours, etc,