Irish minister 'regrets' protest at Israel envoy

Zion Evrony, Israel’s ambassador to Ireland, visited Carrickmacross amid protests from angry Sinn Féin councillors who demanded his page be removed from the visitors book.

By Marcus Dysch, March 2, 2010
Micheál Martin

Micheál Martin

Ireland’s foreign minister has said he regrets a town council’s decision to remove a page, signed by the Israeli ambassador, from its visitors’ book.

Zion Evrony, Israel’s envoy to Ireland, visited Carrickmacross at the end of January but was met by a political row and protests from angry Sinn Féin councillors.

They proposed that the council should “remove” the page signed by Dr Evrony from the visitors’ book.

Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said he “regrets” the incident and believes states should treat each other with respect.

He met his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman in Brussels last week at a meeting of EU foreign ministers. Mr Martin later travelled to Gaza.

In a statement he said: “I fully understand and share the deep concerns which many people in Ireland feel in regard to Israel’s policies on a number of issues.

“However, it is a basic principle of relations between states that we treat each other’s diplomatic representatives with civility and respect, regardless of any policy differences. To do otherwise would seriously undermine the ability of states to conduct international relations.”

He said citizens moved to protest against a government’s policies should do so “peacefully and in a way that respects the diplomatic status and personal dignity of the Ambassador”.

Last updated: 10:35am, March 2 2010