Ireland's new resident ambassador to the Holy See?
Here's a story for you (you can't make these things up!). A Vatican university - the Urbaniana, is hosting a conference on tattoos - I kid you not! Story here. They have teamed up with the Israeli ambassador to the Holy See who, it seems, is an expert on inking oneself. Entitled "Into The Skin: Identity, Symbols and History of Permanent Body Marks", the conference is examining tattoos in various cultures and pondering over their significance. Interesting. You see, being Catholic is not as boring as one would think. And as for that ambassador, it sounds like he would be great company for a dinner party.
You know, if the Irish government had any imagination at all, instead of closing the embassy to the Holy See they could appoint an interesting character who could engage in such cultural activities with the Vatican and show the world that the Irish are not as miserable as we are made out to be in these difficult times: that we can smile through a crisis, after all we have had plenty of practice!
Now here's an idea for Minister Gilmore and his allies over at Foreign Affairs: pop over to Temple Bar (that's the bohemian quarter of Dublin for those who do not know) and find an expert on piercing. Send him or her over to Marks & Spencer to buy a suit, stick him/her on an Ryanair flight with a few tins of beans, and set him/her up in a tent in front of the Villa Spada. Bingo! A resident ambassador on the cheap! And then let him/her organise a conference with the Urbaniana on piercing and its cultural significance, with, perhaps, a few practical workshops thrown in for the laugh.
I tell you, our government's tensions with the Holy See would evaporate overnight! Indeed, all things are possible to those who try.