Corkman named as consul in Oz

A Corkman, who emigrated over 20 years ago, has been appointed Ireland’s honorary consul in Western Australia.

Lawyer Martin (Marty) Kavanagh, 49, is a prominent member of the Irish community in the region.

Perth-based, he recently set up the Ireland-Western Australia Forum to promote business, professional and cultural links between the countries.

Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Eamon Gilmore said the appointment of a resident honorary consul will enhance the Irish Embassy’s capacity to deliver the best possible consular services to the Irish community in Perth and Western Australia (WA).

Mr Kavanagh takes up the position in the coming weeks.

His post is unpaid but his duties include arranging passports for Irish citizens, providing emergency consular assistance and attending community events.

Ireland’s ambassador to Australia Noel White said: “Martin’s appointment will provide a platform to move our relations with WA — a region of increasing economic importance to Ireland — to a new level and to strengthen our business, tourism and cultural links.”

The Irish community in Perth has grown substantially in recent years.

A barrister and solicitor, the consul is the principal in Kavanagh Lawyers, a family law firm in Perth.

According to the department, the number of Irish people seeking work opportunities in Australia continues to rise.

Ireland is Australia’s third most important source country for temporary skilled work visas, representing almost 10% of the entire intake of foreign workers. In the year, to end of March last, a total of 5,140 temporary skilled work visas were granted to Irish nationals, a rise of over 9% on the same period to March 2012.

The Government said the demand for consular services and emergency consular assistance has risen across the board in Australia in line with the arrival of increasing numbers.

Meanwhile, Enterprise Ireland is targeting Western Australia for trade, business and export opportunities for its clients in the construction, mining and project management sectors.

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