Minister Byrne's Message

Introduction from Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne

Ireland is proud to be a founding member of the Council of Europe. Our early engagement with the Council set a tone for our still young state to integrate, and lead, within a continent emerging from the ashes of war. In the seventy years since, “the conscience of Europe”, as our President has called it, has spurred us to better serve our citizens.

Our Presidency logo reflects the intertwined and indivisible nature of Ireland’s bonds within Europe -we are connected by frequencies, by the vibrations of our past, the aspirations of our future. The shape of the logo also takes inspiration from the spiral motifs in ancient Megalithic art found at Newgrange in Ireland and across Europe, reflecting our shared heritage.

An island state, ‘Éire’ - the Irish for ‘Ireland’ - sits surrounded by waves , forming with the accent – the ‘fada’ - over the e , itself echoing the Council of Europe’s logo. From those shared origins a tide rises, reaching across the coasts of the wider continent, reverberating in our shared values which the Council of Europe exemplifies.

Presidency of Ireland, Council of Europe logo

Ireland’s Presidency occurs at a critical juncture as, collectively, we once again confront the scourge of war. Working with our partners at the Council of Europe and beyond, we are determined to do all we can during our Presidency term to confront the challenge this presents, supporting Ukraine and all those striving to protect human rights, democracy, and the rule of law across our shared continent. In so doing, we draw inspiration from the Council of Europe’s founding texts and from our own history, reflected in the words of the great Seamus Heaney:

“But then, once in a lifetime the longed-for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme.’’

Let us hope, and strive, for a great sea-change in the months ahead.