Tánaiste prepared to review Vatican embassy closure

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said today that he would be prepared to review the closure of the Vatican embassy if economic circumstances improve and the Vatican relaxes its requirements.

Minister Gilmore announced the closure of Ireland's embassy in the Vatican last year, citing economic reasons.

He has come under pressure to reverse the decision, which has proved unpopular among Fine Gael backbenchers.

The Tánaiste said that the closure of a number of embassies had been considered by the Government for some time, and the Vatican was always on that list.

However, he said that he is open to reviewing the situation in the future.

"I made it clear at the time when the decision was made that when our financial circumstances improve, we will be looking at embassies again," he said.

"If the Vatican relax the requirement that the embassy to the Vatican has to be housed in a separate building and occupied by an entirely separate ambassador, then that's something that we can review."

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