Links between Brazil & Ireland

 

 

 

My time as Consul

 

By Paul Crean, former Honorary Consul General of Ireland, Rio de Janeiro

 

 

 

My appointment as consul started in July 1988 and finished with my resignation at the end of 1995.  During those interesting and eventful years ( for me at least ), I was fortunate enough to experience and survive a number of firsts in Irish / Brazil relationships among which were;

 

         The first official visit of a Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ireland to Brazil: Mr. Gerry Collins accompanied by three senior members of the Department of Foreign Affairs;

 

         The first official visit of An Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) to Brazil: Mr. Albert Reynoldsís visit as head of the 24 member Irish Delegation to the Summit Conference on Ecology-ECO 90;

 

         The first official visit of a President of Ireland to Brazil:  Mrs. Mary Robinsonís state visit in 1995.

 

These were all hectic but very interesting experiences during which, fortunately, no major mishaps occurred.

 

The opening of a Brazilian Embassy in Dublin and the increased exposure of Ireland in local newspapers coupled with the official visits mentioned above all contributed to an increased interest in information on Ireland, Celtic culture and customs and other general knowledge on the part of the Brazilian public.  Many hours were spent by my secretary and myself in translating Celtic folklore to the point where we became quite expert on obscure aspects of misty fairytales.

 

One particularly busy time was when Ireland reached the quarterfinals of the World Soccer Cup. Schoolteachers were delighted with the research opportunity that the unexpected appearance of Ireland amongst the quarter finalists presented and promptly sent large numbers of children to the Consulate to obtain as much information about Ireland as possible.  On one such day we counted twenty-four children of all shapes and sizes waiting in line outside the door of the Consulate to obtain information for their projects. Our Xerox machine, which worked non stop for hours on end, plus the Gift of the Blarney, which my Carioca secretary acquired, enabled us to survive.  We were rather relieved when Ireland did not make it through to the semi finals and schoolteachers had to find some other subjects for research projects.

 

There were many enjoyable, and other not so enjoyable, experiences over the period during which I was consul.  Certainly one of the benefits of the post was the opportunity to get to know of and meet members of the Irish Community throughout Brazil.  In the past there was no easy way of knowing of the existence and whereabouts of many fellow Irishmen and women, living and working outside the cities of Rio and S„o Paulo.

 

This website goes a long way towards the fulfillment of this need and deserves the recognition and support of all the Irish either living in or who have connections with Brazil.  Please accept my congratulations on a good job done and my wishes for the continued success of this valuable link.

 

 

Footnote: Paul Crean currently acts as a business consultant.  Contact  

 

 

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