Ambassador of Ireland to Canada
Representing Ireland in Canada is a journey of discovery. Discovery of our rich shared heritage, of the new Irish who have come here in recent years, and of the potential to continue the growth in our trade, business, and diplomacy.
Our shared values mean that Ireland and Canada are leading supporters of the UN, peacekeeping, the rule of law and of international order, of sustainable development and advancing gender equality and LGBQT rights.
Canada has been a major contributor to the Northern Ireland Peace Process, including through support for the International Fund for Ireland, and the major contributions of Supreme Court Justice Peter Cory and General John de Chastelain.
Ireland and Canada share long, complex and intense relationships with Britain, relationships that have evolved and changed over the years to the point now of genuine partnership.
Both countries have transformed themselves from colonies to independent countries with new inclusive societies, a rights-based approach, and innovative economies that welcome new talent.
For me, the richest discovery has been the depth of the Irish contribution to Canada. We have been coming here for over three hundred years. This out-working of transatlantic colonialism has had profound impacts on both Canada and Ireland and all the people who have lived within our beautiful landscapes. From the Irish influence in colonial Canada, to the arrival of Irish farmers and labourers, from leadership in politics, culture and the church, to Canadian business and jurisprudence, the Irish impact in Canada has been profound and enduring. It is an epic story that needs to be told.
Explore our website in this journey of discovery!
Ambassador of Ireland to Canada
Note: Dr. Eamonn McKee became Ambassador of Ireland to Canada in October 2020. He virtually presented his credentials to the Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, on the 13th of October 2020.
I graduated from UCD with a degree in history (modern Irish) and economics in 1982, followed by a Ph.D. from the National University of Ireland in 1987 for a thesis on Irish economic policy,1939 to1952.
I joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1986 and worked in Anglo-Irish Division, which would become the focus for my work for the following twenty years, including for six years at the Embassy Washington from 1990 to 1996. Professionally, Washington was incredibly fulfilling, involving as it did engagement with Congress on immigration reform and with the Clinton White House on the emerging Northern Ireland Peace Process. Professional and personal life crossed with I met Congressman Bruce Morrison’s legislative staffer, Mary Rae McGillis while lobbying for Irish visas. Ireland got the visas and I got a wife and later three wonderful children.
I served twice more in Anglo-Irish Division focused on security issues, including Bloody Sunday, contentious parades, policing and confidence in the rule of law, the use of lethal force, the Cory process and criminal justice reform. I was honoured to be a member of the Irish Government’s talks team that negotiated the Good Friday Agreement and was later involved in its implementation on the policing and justice agenda. I served for two years as press officer at the Consulate General New York.
From 2004 I served in Irish Aid (on the emergency humanitarian side), as UN Director and founding Director of the Conflict Resolution Unit. I served as Ambassador to Seoul (2009-13) and Israel (2013-2015). I took up duty as Director General, Trade and Promotion Division in August 2015.
I have been blogging for a number of years, drawing inspiration from the countries to which I have been posted but mainly from my interests which are predominantly Ireland and our history. You can find them on my website: www.eamonncmckee.com.
The Ambassador's official Twitter account is @IrlAmbCanada.