By Simon Abaho
President Yoweri Museveni has bid farewell to outgoing Ireland Ambassador to Uganda H.E William Carlos at a ceremony held at State House Nakasero yesterday.
Ambassador Carlos is leaving for his next posting in the Philippines after completing his three years tour of duty in Uganda.
“Our relation with Ireland is always good. Thank you so much for your service in Uganda. Ireland has been very supportive in the field of education especially through the missionaries. Sister Cephas raised my girls. I went to see her at her place in Ireland,” he said.
Sr Cephas Cormack was headmistress for Namagunga for 30 years before retiring to Ireland.
“Thank you so much for your service in Uganda in the areas of health, education, and refugee support. I wish you good luck in your next posting,” he said.
Ambassador Carlos who is moving to the Philippines to open Ireland’s new Embassy there in the coming months thanked President Museveni for the cordial working relationship between the two countries.
“I have enjoyed the most beautiful climate of all times. I hope by being here, I opened more doors for Ireland and Uganda. We have a very strong relation and I hope to build even stronger relations through anything we can do to enhance the voice of Uganda globally,” he said.
Amb. Carlos said the missionaries were the first ambassadors for Ireland and they did great work for the country.
“We have missionaries here doing great work. Most want to stay here and work with their people. They find it difficult to go back to Ireland. They have that strong commitment to their communities in Africa. I hope we can build strong relationships based on our values, politics, and trade. For me, it was the climate, the people, the beauty Thank you for allowing me to come to this beautiful country,” he said.
The strong relationship between Uganda and Ireland has its basis in the excellent work of Irish missionaries, who have supported frontline service delivery in Uganda for over 100 years, most notably in education and health.
The Irish Government’s engagement has been predominantly through the development and humanitarian assistance programme, and increasingly engaging politically and building supports and connections in trade and investment.