The first event organized by the new Ambassador of Romania in Ireland, His Excellency, Mr. Laurențiu Mihai Ștefan, happened to be on Romania’s National Day. Eager to meet people from the Romanian-speaking communities settled in Ireland, Mr. Ambassador has had a rich career in the few months he has been in this position, and one of his visits took place in Kilkenny, where the Romanian community is numerous and very involved in the social and economic life of the city, being appreciated by officials. Perhaps impressed by this, the Ambassador decided to break the pattern and organize this important event outside Dublin, choosing a beautiful city, whose centre still retains a romantic medieval air. The place where the event took place was a chic theatre in the Langdons House Hotel, and Mr. Laurențiu Mihai Ștefan naturally paid for the role, self-assumed, of the host of the event, presenting and introducing on stage each guest separately.
After the singing of the two state anthems, Romania and Ireland, recorded by the Madrigal Choir especially for the Romanian Embassy in Ireland the first speaker was the Mayor of Kilkenny, Mr. Andrew McGuinness, who had only words of praise, not only about Romanians in community, but also about their culture, which he knows closely, visiting Romania several times. He was followed by Martin Brennan, President of the Twilight Community Group, who, exemplifying the symbolism of the three flags behind him, Romania, Ireland and the European Union, the contribution of culture and civilization to the enrichment of society, and the organization it represents is concerned with this, the inclusion and enhancement of all its members, regardless of ethnicity.
Senator Gerry Horkan, the representative of the Romanian-Irish friendship group in the Parliament, estimated the number of Romanians in Ireland as approximately 120,000, covering most of the economic sectors, with a very good integration in the society. Ambassador Laurențiu Mihai Ștefan remarked and appreciated the fact that Mr. Senator wore a Romanian tie to this event, received when Romania held the Presidency of the European Union, in 2019.
Another person invited to the event was Mr. Eugene Downes, Cultural Director in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He quoted Mr. Laurențiu Mihai Ștefan saying: “Culture comes first, then diplomatic relations”, mentioning the names of Marin Sorescu, Silviu Purcărete and Ion Caramitru, well known to theatre lovers in Ireland. Mr. Eugene Downes spoke about the cultural relations between the two countries, which began long before Romania’s accession to the European Union. A compilation of theatre and film sequences followed, with Ion Caramitru in the foreground.
An emotional moment, with a great poetic-interpretative load, was the presence on stage of Mr. Patrick Mason, director, teacher and writer, who evoked the personality of Ion Caramitru. On behalf of the Romanian community in Kilkenny, Liviu Iftime shared a few words, and he did it with a lot of feeling and responsibility, whom was instrumental for the good organization and development of the event.
The cultural event could not end without a musical moment, a micro-recital given by Aleka and her jazz band, performing with excellent technique and personality six well-known songs, including Bordeiaș, Until I Loved You, Our Love is a Violin, etc. adapted and reinterpreted in the jazz register.
In the last part, we enjoyed an admirable performance by the violinist Tola Custy, who gave the Romanians, on National Day, a moment of Irish music.
I would like also to point out the presence of Her Excellency, Mrs. Larisa Miculeț, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova in Ireland, as a reminder that this holiday belongs to all Romanians, and Romanianism has no borders, of any nature.
In conclusion, Ambassador Laurențiu Mihai Ștefan took a moment to thank his team, from the Embassy and Consulate, for their support and effort in the activity of the mission, despite the difficult conditions, pandemic or not.
Before the cultural show, the event offered a dinner with traditional Romanian dishes, accompanied by excellent Recaș wines.
It was a special evening, in which Romania was beautiful, loved and respected.
Congratulations and thanks, Romanian Embassy in Ireland!
1 decembrie 2021