On Tuesday morning, Pope Francis met with Emma Madigan, the new Irish ambassador to the Holy See as she presented her Letters of Credentials to the Holy Father.
Born in 1973, the new Irish ambassador, who is married and has a son, has had an extensive diplomatic career, including appointments in New York, Chicago and Boston.
The Irish native who speaks English, Gaelic, and Italian, has degrees in Italian and History as well as a Masters in European Studies from University College Dublin.
Madigan marks the first resident Irish ambassador since November 2011 when the Irish government controversially closed the embassy to the Holy See.
She takes over from David Cooney, who served as non-resident ambassador since the last resident ambassador, Noel Fahey, who retired from the position and diplomatic service in the summer of 2011. Cooney also had acted as Secretary General at the Department for Foreign Affairs and was a key force behind reopening the embassy in Rome.
The appointment of the new ambassador came a little more than a week after the Irish Prime Minister visited Rome for the joint canonization of Pope’s John Paul II and John XXIII in April and invited the Holy Father to visit Ireland.