H.E. Michael Collins, recently retired ambassador to Germany will be the guest speaker at the La Touche Legacy Festival of History Dinner.

Michael Collins became Ireland’s Ambassador to Germany in August 2013.  A native of Dublin, Ambassador Collins was born in 1953 and was educated at Blackrock College and Trinity College, Dublin. He entered the Department of Foreign Affairs as a Third Secretary in 1974.

Prior to arriving in Berlin, Ambassador Collins served for six years as Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States thus becoming the longest serving Ambassador of Ireland to occupy this position in the modern era. As Ambassador to the US, Ambassador Collins strongly focused on supporting the Irish community as well as Irish business and economic development. He also spoke extensively on contemporary Ireland, Europe and the Northern Ireland peace process. Ambassador Collins was named “Diplomat of the Year” by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council in May 2008 and was the recipient in 2013 of the American Ireland Fund’s Public Service Award for his contribution to relations between Ireland and the United States. His work as Ambassador was also commended by President Obama in the White House in March 2013.

Prior to his Washington appointment, Ambassador Collins worked for six years, on secondment from the Department of Foreign Affairs, as Second Secretary General at the Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister of Ireland). In that capacity he worked closely with the then Taoiseach, Prime Minister Blair and the Northern Ireland political parties on the Northern Ireland peace process. Between 2001 and 2007 he was a participant at all the major peace process events that culminated with the 2006 St Andrews Agreement and the re-formation of the Northern Ireland Executive on 8 May 2007.

During his time at the Department of the Taoiseach, Ambassador Collins was also responsible for European Union issues, including Ireland’s EU presidency in 2004 as well as all UN and international affairs. He was also a member of the Board of the Royal Irish Academy (International Affairs). He travelled extensively with the Taoiseach on his official overseas engagements and most notably on major trade promotion visits to China (2005), India (2006) and the Gulf (2007).

Ambassador Collins served as Ireland’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1995-99 during which time he was also Ireland’s Ambassador to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Ambassador Collins served from 1999-2001 as Ambassador to the Czech Republic and Ukraine.  Ambassador Collins served as Counsellor, Embassy Washington (1993-95), First Secretary, Consulate General New York (1982-86) and Third Secretary, Embassy Rome (1975-77).

Ambassador Collins was the Head of Press and spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1993. While serving in Dublin in the late 1980s, he also worked on international arms control and disarmament issues and represented Ireland at numerous international meetings, including at the United Nations in New York and the International Conference on Disarmament and Development in 1989.

La Touche Legacy Conference. Friday 13th & Saturday 14th September: Greystones Golf Club, The Burnaby, Greystones

Tickets: €30 for all lectures and €50 incl Dinner from Kay Coughlan, greystonesmd@wicklowcoco.ie, 01 2876694

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