RCS Ireland Welcomes Commonwealth Ambassadors at Government Buildings, Dublin


RCS Ireland were honoured to welcome Ireland’s Commonwealth Ambassadors to Leinster House in Dublin. Held at Ireland’s Government Buildings, the event served to highlight and strengthen the enduring bonds between Ireland and the Commonwealth of Nations.


With Senator Feighan as our host, the delegation meet with several Irish parliamentarians to discuss trade, sport, culture and international relations. The gathering concluded with a formal meal and a commitment to develop Ireland’s association with the Commonwealth.


RCS Ireland holds Commonwealth Event at the House of Lords



We look back at the recent Royal Commonwealth Society international meeting for RCS Branches in London. The meeting was preceded by a two day youth programme. The purpose of the week was to support the future of RCS networks, share experiences and knowledge and to facilitate interaction and relationship-building between branches, youth groups and the RCS in London.

The youth programme provided a platform for young people to connect with like-minded individuals, build leadership skills and identify how to instigate change in the Commonwealth. Opportunity was created to feed into the branch programme and to connect with branch members and RCS Regional Co-ordinators. Read the blog written by youth delegate and the RCS Youth Regional Co-ordinator for Africa, Gideon Commey.

The three day branch programme, attended by 81 delegates from 30 branches around the world and was opened by RCS President, Lord Howell and followed with a day of branch-lead sessions, kindly hosted by the High Commission of New Zealand. Day two addressed the programmes, research & policy and youth & education work of the Society and included speakers from RCS partners The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and Comic Relief. On the third morning, delegates were pleased to attend sessions, kindly run by experts on Communications, Fundraising, Brand and The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy.

Outside of the meetings delegates were invited to a magnificent concert given by ABRSM, to a tour of Westminster Abbey and to Afternoon Tea at the House of Lords, sponsored by RCS Ireland Branch.

The RCS is grateful to the High Commissions of Australia, Canada, Malta, New Zealand, Nigeria and Zambia for their support and hospitality.

The Youth Programme, Branch Programme and Speaker Biographies are available to read online or to download. Notes from the meeting are available to branch members on request as are some of the presentations.

RCS Ireland closed the international meeting with a special event at the House of Lords, with the support of Lord Rana and Lord Howell. The gathering saw a large international Commonwealth delegation enjoy a showcase of Ireland’s enduring relationship with the Commonwealth of Nations. Speeches were delivered by Irish Senator Feighan, Director of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce Mr McGrane, and Lord Howell, President of the RCS.


RCS International Branch Meetings were previously held every second year. On hold since 2013, during the period of change in London, all were delighted at the opportunity to resume the biennial programme.

Article sourced in part from www.thercs.org

Pakistani Ambassador to Ireland discusses Ireland’s relationship with the Commonwealth

HE Dr Rizwan, Pakistani Ambassador to Ireland hosted a special event in Dublin on 13 March 2017. The occasion marked Commonwealth Day and mirrored events around the world that celebrated the values and work of the modern Commonwealth of Nations. Ambassador Rizwan emphasised the shared heritage that Ireland holds with member-nations within the Commonwealth.


Ambassador Rizwan added that across history, nations and peoples throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa have settled and influenced other nations. These practices reflect the context of wealth, culture, and societies at those times in history. However, Ireland, like Pakistan, is a proud Republic and the countries of the modern Commonwealth of Nations share so much with each other and have so much to give and receive from each other.


He emphasised that like any other Commonwealth country, Ireland, though a former member of the Commonwealth, is linked with those in the Commonwealth in so many ways. Ireland, along with all Commonwealth countries, shares an appreciation for science, rationality and human rights; along with shared parliamentary values, and common language, legal, commercial, business, sporting and trade connections.


The Ambassador closed by remarking that by coming together for the common good, the development of peace, harmony and progress through cooperation can thrive.


2017 Commonwealth Day Celebrated in Dublin, Ireland

Commonwealth Day was celebrated around the world on 13 March 2017. Ireland has a rich and lasting relationship with the Commonwealth of Nations, with the majority of Irish aboard living in nations that are members of the Commonwealth. In collaboration with RCS Ireland, the Pakistani Embassy in Dublin hosted a special event to mark the occasion. The large delegation included many Ambassadors and representatives from Embassies in Ireland, which represent nations within the Commonwealth. Several Irish parliamentarians, Irish diplomats, academics, and supporters also attended. Excellent speeches were delivered by the Pakistani Ambassador, Irish Senator Neale Richmond, and the British Deputy Head of Mission in Ireland. Lord Rana, as Patron of RCS Ireland also offered his support. Currently travelling in India to promote education and peace, Lord Rana was unable to attend the event in person. However, he offered the following remarks in an official written statement:

Hon’ble Chairman, Hon’ble Diplomats, officials of the Republic of Ireland, members of the RCS, Ladies & Gentlemen.

I would like to express my heartiest best wishes to you all attending the Commonwealth Day celebrations in Dublin, being hosted by the Ambassador of Pakistan, in collaboration with RCS Ireland. I wish I could have been with you all today, but regrettably I am unable to attend due to commitments in India.

Celebrating Commonwealth day on 13 March has another interesting dimension in India. Today is the “Holi Festival Day”, a festival of colours, where people celebrate the beginning of spring weather by playing with colours with each other’s family, friends and strangers. It’s celebrating the colourful world we live in. It is celebrating diversity, multicultural and multi religious world that we are part of, and which is best represented by the Commonwealth.

I am a great believer in the Commonwealth, which is a unique, multicultural, multi-institutional organisation spanning six continents of the world, bringing together nearly one-third of the world’s population and promoting multi-identity. An organisation of 52 nations, it contains 31 Republics, three of which are also members of the European Union. I have been sponsoring various talks, dinners and meetings for nearly 20 years on the subject of the “Republic of Ireland and the Commonwealth”. I remain genuinely convinced that  the Commonwealth would be of great benefit to Ireland; and that the Commonwealth would be strengthened with Ireland’s input.  Dublin’s Lord Mayor and City Council has already extended its support to the establishment of the Commonwealth Society in Ireland, during the official launch at the Mansion House three years ago.

Approximately 60% of the Commonwealth population are under the age of 30, and the majority of them live in developing countries. The best way to counter terrorism and civil unrest is through dialogue and education. The role of education in promoting peace, democracy and respect for each other is essential in shaping these young minds as they are the future of our world. As these countries grow their economies, the Commonwealth will become a very powerful economic organisation.

As we mark Commonwealth Day in Dublin, we might note the 2017 Commonwealth theme, which is “A Peace Building Commonwealth.” My charitable trust is in the process of establishing an Institute for Conflict Resolution Practice in Punjab (India) where we have founded and funded an Education Campus, to bring higher education within the reach of students from the poor families in rural Punjab <www.cordia.edu.in>. This institute will have presence not only in India, but in Northern Ireland as well. The intention is to put into practice the recommendations of the 2007 Commonwealth report “Civil Paths to Peace, Respect and Understanding.” Ireland retains enduring links with the Commonwealth of Nations and we look forward to building on these rich and mutually beneficial bonds.


Have a wonderful day, and my regrets for not able to be with you in person.

I wish you all a great Commonwealth Day.

Lord Rana MBE (Baron of Malone)