Rick O’Shea to launch new anthology of writing by DFA officials & their families
Press release16 November 2021
RTE broadcaster Rick O’Shea will launch All Strangers Here: 100 Years of Personal Writing from the Irish Foreign Service. This new book explores the relationships between diplomacy, creativity, and language across poetry and prose authored by Irish diplomats and their families since 1919. Published by Arlen House, and edited by Angela Byrne, Helena Nolan and Ragnar Almqvist, the anthology includes a foreword by former Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Niall Burgess, who initiated the project.
Rick O’Shea will launch All Strangers Here at Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) on November 18.
The book includes not just the men and women employed directly by the Department, but the partners and children who accompanied them on posting – Ireland’s extended diplomatic service. Amongst the many remarkable writers it features are: Eavan Boland and Maeve Brennan, both daughters of Ambassadors; poets Valentin Iremonger and Denis Devlin; and Conor Cruise O’Brien and Máire Mhac an tSaoí, one of the State’s first female diplomats who sadly passed away last month.
All Strangers Here is part of a wider programme of initiatives marking 100 years since the creation of the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr Joe Hackett said:
“From the foundation of our foreign ministry in 1919, creativity and insight have been essential attributes of the women and men who have represented Ireland overseas. At its heart, all successful diplomacy is creative and all diplomats are storytellers – endlessly interpreting and retelling the story of their state and its place in the world, as well as sending home vivid dispatches from abroad.
The Irish state – a product of cultural as well as political revolution – has often prized in its diplomatic representatives a flair for narrative and a passion for arts. Frequently, such creativity has found expression in poetry, fiction, essay and memoir.”
More information can be found at Stories - All Strangers Here: 100 Years of Writing from the Irish Foreign Service - this is Ireland.