World View: Brexit puts Irish diplomats centre-stage
Iveagh House excels at big issues such as UN and EU. Brexit will focus its energies
The EU Division has returned to Iveagh House and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney is one of the most powerful people in the Cabinet. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill
You’re unlikely to find anyone in Iveagh House, the Dublin headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs, who thinks Brexit is a good idea. Yet Britain’s act of national self-immolation, and the gorse fires it has set off across the region, have, in a narrow institutional sense, been good for Irish diplomacy.
As the lead department in Ireland’s effort to limit its exposure to the inferno – a status it has been reclaiming from Merrion Street since it was given the Brexit brief, and the resources that go with it, earlier this year – Iveagh House suddenly has an importance in Government that it hasn’t had since the Belfast Agreement was signed two decades ago.