Clare Brosnan - Embassy London
Marking the centenary of the Easter Rising and the historical events of 1916 meant 2016 was always going to be a busy and multifaceted year for the team at Embassy London. An interesting year, however, became extraordinary as we woke up on June 24 - or stayed up as I and many others did for the unfolding drama - as the ballot boxes endorsed Brexit.
Having hoped for the best but prepared for the worst, we did not have time to dwell on our disappointment. Working closely with colleagues in Dublin we rolled out our Brexit contingency plans to address Ireland’s key concerns. We also rolled up our sleeves to post an unprecedented number of passport application forms – 100,000!
The backdrop of the Ireland 2016 commemorations programme, coinciding with the EU referendum campaign, provided many moments to reflect on our complex past, present and future in our relationship with the UK. With 100 events here, the year was bookended by spirited debates as part of the Embassy’s Lecture Series and a special New Year’s Eve celebration with RTE. Personal highlights included a 1916 Embassy open day and spine tingling renditions of songs and anthems at venues from the Southbank Centre to Wigmore Hall. It was at all times a privilege to be part of the London team in such a momentous year.