Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Michael McCarthy (Cork South West, Labour)
Question 105: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he has explored the possibility of merging the ambassadorial functions and responsibilities of the Holy See and the Italian embassy; if he has asked the Holy See to reconsider their position regarding the joint servicing arrangement; if any discussions have taken place to date regarding a possible co-location of both embassies and their respective offices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9225/12]
Eamon Gilmore (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dún Laoghaire, Labour)
For what I understand are historical reasons, the Holy See does not accept accreditation from a resident Embassy that is also accredited to Italy. It is not acceptable for one Ambassador to be accredited to both States, neither is it acceptable for embassies to the Italian Republic and the Holy See to operate from the same address. If the Vatican is prepared to relax its current requirements so as to allow the state-owned Villa Spada to serve as a location for both our Embassy to Italy and our Embassy to the Holy See that is something that can be taken into account in any future considerations.