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Brian Glynn - Embassy Brasilia

2016 was a memorable year for Ireland in Brazil. I was delighted to join colleagues in an extensive programme of Ireland 2016 events to mark the remarkable life and sad death of Roger Casement, who served as British Consul in Brazil in the early twentieth century.

Together with our colleagues in the Consulate General in São Paulo, we were involved in events in cities across Brazil with the highlight being a high-profile seminar on Casement’s life and human rights work on St Patrick’s Day in Brasilia. An emotional moment for me personally came on 3 August, when I laid a wreath to mark the hundredth anniversary of Casement’s execution in our temporary Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, the city in which he himself had served as Consul General.

The staff of the Embassy and Consulate General in São Paulo transferred temporarily to Rio de Janeiro for the duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We operated a temporary Consulate there to provide support to the athletes, their families and supporters who did Ireland proud over the course of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. While it is difficult to pick out highlights from that period, I will remember the valiant efforts of the Olympic athletes who clocked up so many national records. The warmth, friendliness, enthusiasm and sheer determination of the Paralympic athletes will stay with me forever.