The history of the Consulate 領事館的歷史
The Government decided in February 2014 to establish a full-time, career diplomatic Consulate General in Hong Kong which also covers the Special Administrative Region of Macao. The Consulate opened in August 2014, and has been working on developing stronger relations with Hong Kong and Macao and providing support to the Irish community here since then. We are also focusing on improving economic and trade links between Ireland and Hong Kong, in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland which has had a long-standing presence in Hong Kong.
The Consulate General of Ireland to Hong Kong and Macao had its official opening in the new premises at 33 Des Voeux Road Central on 18 September 2015.
[Picture] Then Financial Secretary John Tsang, Minister Richard Bruton, Ambassador of Ireland to the People’s Republic of China, Paul Kavanagh at the opening event for the offices of the Consulate General of Ireland in 2015.
Prior to August 2014, Ireland was fortunate to be represented in Hong Kong by a number of highly regarded Honorary Consuls, including Harry O’Neill, Chok Lee (ably supported by Irene Heffernan Ho), Des Murray, Denys Connolly & Anthony Marron.
The Irish in Hong Kong
Although the Consulate General of Ireland was formally established in 2014, the Irish presence has been well established in Hong Kong.
In 1841, Belfast man, Henry Pottinger, arrived in Hong Kong. He would become Hong Kong’s first Governor and, indeed, the first of nine Irish governors in Hong Kong over the subsequent 80 years.
We really cannot understate the depth of the Irish story in Hong Kong. As we delve into this topic, the full extent of the story is still only beginning to emerge. We have identified at least 30 Hong Kong streets bearing the names of Irish people. The Irish story also runs deep into the DNA of many of Hong Kong’s institutions – notably in Education, Government, the Law, Medicine and Policing. Some highlights include:
▪ The over 100 Irish Jesuits have served in Hong Kong since the 1920s with many teaching in the Wah Yan Colleges in Kowloon and Hong Kong island and in many other areas of service including Ricci Hall in The University of Hong Kong.
▪ Over 80 Irish Christian brothers have also contributed enormously to education in Hong Kong through the many Lasalle Schools
The role of Irish women should not be understated. One of our great legacies are the Irish Columban nuns who served in Hong Kong most notably in the Rutonjee hospital where Sister Mary Aquinas and Sister Gabriel O’Mahony led a medical team of Columban nuns in the drive to eradicate TB during the 1950s.
The success of the Hong Kong Sevens was also built around an extraordinary Irish woman – Beth Coalter – who steered the growth and success of the Sevens with the Hong Kong Rugby Union from the 1980s. On her departure from Hong Kong, Beth joined World Rugby in Dublin and mirrored her success here in creating the Sevens World Series, and culminating in the Sevens becoming an Olympic sport. Sadly Beth passed away all too prematurely in 2015, before Sevens debuted in the Rio Olympics.
［相片］前財政司司長曾俊華、部長 Richard Bruton與愛爾蘭駐華大使康寶樂（Paul Kavanagh）於2015年在愛爾蘭總領事館開幕禮留影。
在2014年8月之前，愛爾蘭有幸由備受尊敬的名譽領事作代表處理在港事務，名譽領事包括Harry O'Neill、Chok Lee（由Irene Heffernan Ho協助）、Des Murray、Denys Connolly 及 Anthony Marron。
愛爾蘭女性同樣是舉重輕足的人物。愛爾蘭聖高隆龐（Columban）修女在香港貢獻良多，流芳百世。最廣為人知的是修女 Mary Aquinas及修女 Gabriel O’Mahony於1950年代在律敦治醫院帶領聖高隆龐修女醫療隊，竭力對抗肺結核病。
香港國際七人欖球賽的成功也是有賴傑出的愛爾蘭女性歌雅（Beth Coalter）。歌雅自1980年代與香港欖球總會帶領和推動七人欖球賽的發展。離開香港後，歌雅加入了都柏林的國際欖球理事會（World Rugby），並創造了世界七人制欖球巡迴賽（Sevens World Series），最終促使七人欖球成為奧運項目。 可惜歌雅在2015年與世長辭，未能親眼目睹在里約熱內盧奧運會首次亮相的七人制欖球比賽。