On Monday evening, Ambassador of Ireland H.E. Alison Kelly hosted a farewell dinner reception at the ambassador’s residence in Herzliya. Diplomats and other distinguished guests were on hand to thank the ambassador for her service, and wish her well, as she returns to Ireland.
Ambassador Kelly addressed her guests and thanked them for attending, and for their friendship and support. She said that her four years of service in Israel had been “among the most fascinating” of her career. Noting the importance of personal contact in the world of diplomacy, the ambassador emphasized how she had enjoyed working with her colleagues in Israel. She also thanked her embassy staff for their commitment, support, and friendship.
The ambassador noted the commonalities between Irish and Israeli cultures, like informality and a similar sense of humor. She noted that there is still a need for direct Ireland-Israel flights, and expressed hope that the next ambassador could achieve that step in bilateral connections.
Ambassador Kelly commended the Irish peacekeepers serving in UN missions on Israel’s borders. The ambassador stressed the deep commitment of the government of Ireland towards strong bilateral relations with Israel while supporting a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Closing her remarks, the ambassador surprised many guests by telling them that she would be retiring. She emphasized that Israel would always be special for her, and welcomed friends to visit her in Dublin as well.
Among the distinguished guests in attendance were numerous members of the diplomatic corps; Ambassador Meron Reuben, chief of state protocol in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Major General Kristin Lund, Head of Mission and Chief of Staff for UNTSO; David Freeman, Jerusalem Representative of the Baha’i international community; Rabbi Eliezer Simcha Weisz, Member of the Chief Rabbinate Council of Israel; Hillel Schenker, Co-Editor of the Palestine-Israel Journal, and Dina Ben Yakir (Women Wage Peace).
Diplomacy.co.il thanks Ambassador Kelly for her dedication to strengthening bilateral ties between Ireland and Israel, and wishes her much health, happiness, and success!