Ambassador O'Brien's letter to friends of embassy
News01 May 2020
I am using the opportunity of the Embassy’s monthly newsletter, our Monatsbuch, to write to you once more, at this time of continuing concern in Ireland, Germany and right across the globe. These past weeks have been anything but normal and for many, they have been quite difficult, especially so for those and their families directly affected by the virus. We offer our heartfelt sympathy to anyone affected by the loss of a loved one, whether from the Covid virus or any other cause.
We have all had to adapt, to change our lives, to change our plans in the short to medium term and change how we interact with each other. I wish to reassure you again that the Embassy remains open with modified staffing arrangements and that we will continue to do our very best to provide the services needed by the Irish community here. Please note, however, that we continue to operate a restricted call-in service and you should only come to the Embassy in case of an emergency and only after an appointment has been made in advance. If you wish to contact us, please call +4930220720 or email Berlinquerys@dfa.ie. Outside of normal office hours, Irish citizens who require emergency assistance can leave a message on the answering machine and a duty officer will revert to them. Our Consulate General in Frankfurt as well as our Honorary Consulates Generals in Hamburg, Bergisch-Gladbach, Munich and Stuttgart are operating but strictly by appointment and should only be contacted in the case of urgent matters.
Please note our travel advice www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/a-z-list-of-countries/germany/ which is regularly updated and for which you can sign up for update notifications with (@dfattravelwise). Follow the Embassy twitter account @irlembberlin and Facebook @irlembberlin account
Please do continue to observe the guidelines issued by the local authorities, such as wearing a mask or face covering in public places or areas where the necessary distancing measures cannot be implemented. Please also be aware of the strict guidelines in place in Ireland including the necessity to register your details upon entering Ireland.
My team and I remain acutely aware that this is a worrying time economically and that some members of the community have lost their jobs or sources of income. While everybody’s circumstances are different, you may be able to benefit from supports put in the place by the German Government.
Similar to when I wrote to you last month, I remain deeply conscious that many of you are far from home and may be separated from your loved ones. We know that everybody is following events both in Germany and at home and that many remain worried. By working together and following the advice of the health authorities, we can continue to best protect ourselves and our loved ones. Do keep in touch with your loved ones, wherever they may be, and keep in touch with each other, but in the light of the ongoing physical distancing measures, maintain that contact via modern technology. We must all stay this course, no matter how long & difficult it may be, if we are to truly beat this virus. I would also highlight the important role that Irish societies and groups as well as the GAA are playing in information sharing. These have long been important community supports and especially so at this time.
As you can see in our newsletter, we are proposing to host a digital book club next month (June), as well as hearing from a Friday Club speaker and to present a digital Bloomsday. It may not be in quite the same format as we enjoyed previously, but I hope that you might be able to join us in these events. Of course, I look forward to a date when I, along with the entire team in the Embassy and Consulate General can again invite you in through our doors for a heartfelt and warmly extended céad míle fáilte. Until then, please take care of yourself and your loved ones.
Dr. Nicholas O’Brien