Taoiseach rejects calls to reverse Vatican embassy closure

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has rejected fresh calls for a u-turn on the decision to close the Irish Embassy in the Vatican.

It follows reports on the €76m cost of the entire diplomatic mission showing the embassy in the Holy See was one of the cheapest to run.

Mr Kenny today again insisted that the closure will remain "under review", and could be changed if the Vatican relaxed rules on the housing of embassies.

Speaking the Dáil this morning, the Taoiseach rejected suggestions from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin that an embassy was needed to deal with issues such as child protection.

"We had people on the ground in the Vatican for very many years, and look what happened… look what was allowed to happen," Mr Kenny said.

"Don't come in here and tell me that - because you want to go with the current trend here, Deputy Martin - that simply by putting somebody on the ground that that deals with the sensitive and personal issue that was such a scar on our land and on our people."

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