I was very honoured to present my Letters of Credence from the President of Ireland to H.E. the President of the Hellenic Republic on 20 July last, as Ireland’s 11th Ambassador here. Along with my husband, Claude Malone, we are delighted to be in Athens and looking forward to learning more about this wonderful and ancient city as well as discovering this beautiful country, visited by so many Irish people each year. Our adult children, Kate and Matthew, have visited already and are looking forward also to seeing more of this exciting and vibrant capital, as well as other parts of Greece. 2017 marks the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of the Irish Embassy in Greece,as well as the formation of the Greek-Irish Society which has done so much to strengthen and celebrate that friendship. The Irish Institute for Hellenic Studies in Athens also provides another special link through the very distinguished scholarship and research of academics and students in both countries. Not only do we share important goals and values as European partners, we share also many rich historical and cultural ties, forged over a long period, resulting in a strong and very warm friendship and empathy between our peoples.
As I assume my new responsibilities, I would like to express thanks and appreciation to Luke Feeney for his work as Chargé d’Affaires over recent months, as well as to our Consul, Catherine Aylward. Luke will return to our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin shortly, while Catherine has taken up a new post at the Irish Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. They will be succeeded by Marianne Bolger, Deputy Head of Mission, in August and by Michelle Ryan in October. Our team is completed by Kimon Kostadimas, Ery Tanti-Politi, Aliki Kosmetou & Roula Sargianopoulos. I feel very fortunate to have their experience, commitment and support over the time ahead, at this important time for Greece and Ireland.