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Mulvaney formally appointed North envoy

North Envoy Mick Mulvaney.


 

By Irish Echo Staff


Mick Mulvaney has been formally sworn in as U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland.


Mulvaney, the former acting White House Chief of Staff, told RTE that he had officially became the envoy in recent days following a virtual swearing-in ceremony via FaceTime.


"I was sworn-in on Friday (May 1) and immediately started burying myself in the background work that comes with the job.

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"The State Department as well as folks in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and London have all sent me material to read," the former South Carolina congressman said.


President Trump had announced in early March that Mulvaney would be taking up the North job, this after several apparent commitments to the envoy idea earlier in his administration from secretaries of state Rex Tillerson and Mike Pompeo.


"Over the course of the last couple of weeks, I came home to South Carolina because I was no longer deemed essential in Washington. I've spent the last few days throwing myself into the envoy position and it has been a lot of fun,” Mulvaney told RTE.


A near future visit to Ireland is highly unlikely due to the Covid-19 crisis.


Said Mr. Mulvaney, whose Irish roots are in County Mayo: ”I’m doing what I can by email. I had hoped there might be exceptions to the travel restrictions for diplomatic purposes but it sounds like that won't work out.


"I'm being told that 1 July may be the first opportunity but as soon as the country is open, I'll be there for as long as necessary.


"Economics and prosperity are at the heart of many of the issues affecting Northern Ireland and that will come into more glaring focus at the back end of the coronavirus crisis," he added.


"Getting economic opportunities in Northern Ireland will be even more important than it was before.”


Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald welcomed Mr. Mulvaney's formal appointment.


"I want to welcome the formal appointment of Mick Mulvaney as U.S. Special Envoy to the North as we face the challenges of Covid-19, Brexit, and ensuring that our peace agreements are respected and implemented,” she said.


"The United States and successive administrations have been good friends of Ireland and partners in peace building.


"The role of Special Envoy has been central to safeguarding the Good Friday and subsequent agreements as we navigate our way from a past of conflict to a peaceful, prosperous, reconciled and united future.


"I wish Mr. Mulvaney well in his new role, and I look forward to working with him."