Question No. 552
Parliamentary Question – Oireachtas
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the locations that Ireland House exists in around the world; his plans to expand this concept to other locations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Anthony Lawlor.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 21st April, 2015.
Ref No: 15351/15
In 1987, the Government formulated a policy to bring together, where feasible, our diplomatic and consular missions abroad and the offices of state agencies in a single location, designated as “Ireland House”. The policy has been implemented on a gradual basis over the intervening years. The precise model for implementing such an arrangement would, of course, vary and have to reflect local conditions and other factors. In all cases, the arrangement is one designed to increase the impact of Ireland’s presence abroad, to improve coordination among all parties, and to maximise cost-efficiencies.
There are a number of types of Ireland House which include our diplomatic and consular missions abroad and the offices of state agencies operating from the same premises. These are currently operating in 19 locations overseas. The largest is in New York and comprises the Consulate General, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA in addition to other agencies including Tourism Ireland, Bord Bia, the American Ireland Fund and CIE Tours.
Missions at Boston, Brussels, Budapest, Prague, Riyadh and Warsaw share premises with Enterprise Ireland. Our missions at Austin, Moscow, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo accommodate both Enterprise Ireland and IDA offices. The Consulate General in Shanghai shares premises with Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, and also Bord Bia and an agent for Tourism Ireland; the Ireland House in Madrid includes offices of Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Tourism Ireland, together with the Embassy. Other configurations prevail elsewhere, including at Embassy Beijing, which shares premises with the IDA; Embassies Stockholm and New Delhi share space with Enterprise Ireland and Bord Bia; and Ireland’s Consulate General in Atlanta operates from the same location as the IDA.
In addition, there are a number of other locations where state agencies share facilities with each other in the form of an Ireland House, which does not include the Irish diplomatic mission to that particular country. For example, in Paris, the IDA, Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and BIM operate an Ireland House.
The Ireland House concept has been implemented where practicable and further opportunities are considered whenever missions or agencies are opening or moving to new locations. I can confirm that the scope for further implementation of the Ireland House concept is being actively pursued in the context of the current expansion of the diplomatic network, not only in relation to Austin, Texas, mentioned above, but at other locations as well.