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The Embassy’s History

Find out about the Embassy’s history, including our former Ambassadors and Chargés.

Ireland established formal diplomatic relations with Portugal in 1942, when it opened a Legation in Lisbon, headed by the first Charge d’Affaires, Colman O’Donovan.
The Legation was upgraded to the rank of Embassy in 1975, one year after Portugal’s Carnation Revolution on 25th of April 1974. Ireland’s first Ambassador to Portugal, following the democratic transition, was Kevin Rush who presented credentials to President Francisco Costa Gomes in 1975.

Back in 1942, the Legation of Ireland was located first in Rua de São Bernardo and later in Rua da Imprensa à Estrela, in the heart of historic Lisbon. Later, in 2010, the Embassy moved to the leafy environs of the Avenida da Liberdade, to a modern building occupied also by the Embassies of Australia, Canada and Slovakia and by the Lisbon stock exchange and economic and media enterprises. The Avenida, created in the 19th century from parklands and gardens in the style of the Champs Elysees, is today the centre of bustling commercial and banking activity.

Irish Charges d’Affaires at the Legation of Ireland in Portugal, 1942- 1975

Colman O'Donovan

1942

May 1945

Cornelius Cremin Charge d'Affaires

May 1945

July 1946

Thomas Commins Charge d'Affaires

September 1955

June 1959

Francis Coffey Charge d'Affaires

November 1959

October 1960

Wilfred Lennon Charge d'Affaires

January 1961

April 1962

Denis O'Sullivan Charge d'Affaires

April 1968

January 1975

Irish Ambassadors to the Republic of Portugal, 1975-Present

Kevin Rush

January 1975

October 1979

Valentin Iremonger

October 1979

July 1980

James Kirwan

December 1980

July 1986

Bernard McHugh

July 1986

November 1990

Michael Greene

November 1990

April 1993

Eamonn Ryan

September 1993

June 1997

John Campbell

September 1998

September 2001

Patrick O'Connor

September 2001

February 2006

James Brennan

September 2006

August 2010

Declan O'Donovan

August 2010

August 2013

Anne Webster

September 2013

September 2015

Orla Tunney

October 2015

 August 2019

Ralph Victory 

August 2019

Present

The History of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Learn more about the history of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and our collaboration with the Royal Irish Academy's Documents on Irish Foreign Policy project.