DFA: Details of Micheál Martin diplomatic engagement could damage international relations

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) won’t release details of one of Micheál Martin’s engagements during a recent trip to Egypt, Israel and the occupied territories for fear it may damage Ireland’s international relations.

The Ditch requested all records related to Martin’s diplomatic mission, most of which were heavily redacted by the DFA, citing ongoing diplomacy.

Many of the redactions – which include briefing notes and speaking points – cite section 33 (1) (d) of the Freedom of Information  Act. This allows for the denial of records when release could adversely impact the international relations of the state.  

Among these redactions is an engagement that Martin had during his trip to Egypt. It is unclear what the engagement was related to or with whom the tánaiste met. 

The tánaiste made the trip last November and met with leaders from each territory. These meetings were announced by the DFA.   

While in Egypt, Martin took part in an undisclosed engagement, which took place at 5.30pm on 15 November,  an hour after his meeting with League of Arab States Secretary General Abu Gheit.

The department has declined to release details of the meeting, stating that doing so could reasonably be anticipated to have a negative impact on the State's international relations.

The Ditch has asked the DFA for further details about the engagement. 

Following his time in Egypt, Martin visited Israel and the West Bank, where he spoke with Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen, Israeli president Isaac Herzog, Palestinian authority president Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki,

The Ditch editors

The Ditch editors