Ireland's new ambassador to Bulgaria
Martina Feeney arrived in Bulgaria in October 2020, but owing to the Covid-19 pandemic has been unable to explore the country as much as she wants. At a time when governments in Europe discourage international travel it makes little sense to propagate the virtues of Bulgaria as a tourist destination, but that, hopefully, will one day change. So Martina, who has vast experience as an Irish envoy at the OSCE and the United Nations in Vienna, in Germany as well as in the Middle East, prepares for that day by getting herself acquainted with all material she can gather about Bulgaria. And she has plans: explore the Irish legacies in this country, travel to the mountains and the Black Sea coast, enjoy some star-watching in this country's dark skies locations.
Bulgaria and Ireland are at the opposite ends of the continent but in reality there are both similarities and things that we can learn from each other, says Feeney and adds she is set on looking at ways to deepen bilateral interaction and cooperation.
As Bulgaria goes into yet another lockdown at the moment the activities of the Irish Embassy are understandably limited, but Martina Feeney did manage to organise that quintessentially Irish event: lighting up public buildings in green on St Patrick's Day. So, Ireland came, albeit vicariously, to Sofia's National Palace of Culture, to the National Library, to the National Opera House and even to the historical clocktower in Tryavna.