There is a very special mindset in the Department of Foreign Affairs. You get a glimpse in a decision to spend €4300 on a carpet for the embassy in Washington. The chairs on the marble floor were apparently ‘impacting on conversations’.
Those scrapes and squeaks were annoying important US officials so the ambassador wanted a new carpet.
The embassy is on 2221 30th Street, Washington and when it came on the market in 2021, it was the most expensive property in the US capital, valued at over $18 million.
The Irish government is renting the property but refuses to say how much it is paying in rent.
We do know, however, that it has spent €4,718 renovating the 13-bathroom mansion, which has a 500-bottle wine room.
In 2022, the former ambassador explained the reasoning behind this lavish spending on renovation. He said ‘The quality of our property portfolio in Washington, DC ought to match our interests and future aspirations. At present, the two are badly out of line’.
In other words, we need to impress the Yanks. No better example of the shoneen mindset at the heart of Ireland’s diplomatic mission.