Lawyer and Diplomat
I have worked for some 30 years for the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and represented Ireland on political, legal, human rights, economic and development aid issues at the UN (General Assembly and Security Council), the EU and the OECD. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I served on the Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee and then advised it as an independent consultant. I also advised the Irish delegation on the political and legal implications of the trade in "blood diamonds". More recently I provided Irish policy advice on the EU's relations with Russia, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. I served as the first Irish member of the Board of Governors of the European Endowment for Democracy, asked by the EU to support the Arab Spring and emerging democratic movements in Eastern Europe.
I strongly support the functioning of the International Criminal Court and I have written about Ireland's relations with the International Law Commission, the principal body charged under the UN Charter with the progressive development and codification of international law. I am an expert in public international law, constitutional law, criminal law, counter-terrorism law and legislative drafting. However, I have an appetite for all kinds of legal work. Indeed, I am prepared to undertake any kind of legal, diplomatic, political or literary work which I find to be of interest.
Well-versed in History, I am a gifted speech-writer and speech-giver. I am fluent in English, French and Irish. I was a prize-winning Latin scholar. I also have basic German, Dutch and Italian.
First secretary and Deputy Head of Mission
Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland.
December 1979 - June 2013
My work at Headquarters divided principally between the Legal Division (Public International Law) and the Political Division (UN and Counter-Terrorism). From 2001 to 2002, I was a member of Ireland's delegation to the Security Council. I also acted as Deputy Head of Mission at the Irish Mission to the OECD and the Irish Embassies to Belgium and Luxembourg.
I variously worked in the EU Division (Enlargement) and the Foreign Earnings Division (Bilateral Trade). I also worked for two years on the promotion of Irish culture worldwide.
Department of Foreign Affairs, Ireland
I advised the Department of Foreign Affairs on domestic law, constitutional law, public international law, EU law, the negotiation & implementation of international conventions & the drafting of legislation, especially counter-terrorist and anti-money laundering legislation.
I worked extensively as a lawyer, diplomat and consultant at the UN, EU & OECD. I dealt successfully with complex, legal political, linguistic, economic, human rights and development aid issues.
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I was appointed to the UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee tasked with overseeing the implementation of UNSCR 1373. 15 months later, the Committee appointed me as a consultant providing legal advice and drafting correspondence for Committee Chairman, Sir Jeremy Greenstock.
I also served as Deputy Head of the Irish Missions to the OECD, Belgium & Luxembourg.
Peace Tower at Messines, Flanders
The 11th November 1998 marked the 80th Anniversary of the end of the First World War. A Peace Tower was erected in Flanders to mark the site where so many Irishmen, from the whole Island of Ireland, fell at the Battle of Messines Ridge. The Peace Tower was inaugurated by Ireland's President McAleese in the presence of Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Belgium's King Albert and Queen Paola. As Deputy Head of Mission at the Irish Embassy to Belgium, I was principally responsible for liaising with the British Embassy to Belgium and the Belgian Royal Palace in the organisation of the inauguration.
Qualifications & Certifications
Degree of Barrister at Law
Bachelor of Civil Law