15 March 2022
By Elaine Murphy
University College Cork has many things on campus, including a Church, but did you know it has a foreign ‘Consulate’ also?
A capital city such as Dublin has many foreign Embassies, while a secondary city such as Cork has many Consulates.
A Consulate can be headed by: A Career Consul, who is a civil servant from the sending country, or an Honorary Consul who will be a resident of the receiving country, and who is usually involved in a private business of his own, and can use his/her existing office as an ‘Honorary Consulate’ when required.
Here in Cork, there are no Career Consuls, but there are plenty of Honorary Consuls, more than you might think! back in 2018 we compiled a list here.
While browsing the current (Last updated Feb 2022) Diplomatic List we noticed there is an Honorary Consul whose address is now given as being on the campus of University College Cork, in the O’Rahilly Building. Perhaps this is merely a consul point of contact address, rather than a consulate per se, but if it is interesting to see!
Ms. Maria Gabriella Caponi, Honorary Consul of Italy
University College Cork
Tel: 083 436 5362
According to LinkedIn Maria has been a University Teacher attached to UCC’s Department of Italian since 1994. Her appointment as Honorary Consul dates to around July 2018 and she represents the Munster Region. Despite being on the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs diplomatic list the Cork Honorary Consul’s existence is not listed on the website of the Italian Embassy in Dublin, which lists only a Galway Honorary Consul.
Having a Consul with an Educational campus address is not that unusual. The Diplomatic list also reveals Germany as having a Consul with an address in NUI Galway, while Mexico enjoy a presence at Galway Business School.
Honorary Consuls are a fascinating bunch of people, who have interesting backgrounds. Great credit is due to them for the work they do in promoting their sending countries, and it’s a positive sign that Cork is considered important enough by many nations to have honorary consuls appointed to it.