Security concerns, faulty air conditioning, peeling paint and bubbling plaster at Irish diplomatic buildings in Washington DC

Conditions at Ireland’s chief diplomatic outpost in Washington DC had become so bad that staff felt they could not hold events, or even meetings, there.

Peeling paint, bubbling plaster, flooring and carpeting that was past its useful life, and a range of other issues including security risks had made for a “very poor working environment”.

A review of the chancery building in the U.S. capital also said “major concerns” had arisen with the mechanical and electrical systems, which were at “end of life”.

The confidential report said: “The poor working environment … already identified in the last review (2012) has deteriorated significantly in the interim, with numerous issues, including health and safety, and security concerns, clearly in evidence throughout the building.”

The department has since leased another building in Washington DC as they make plans for an improved chancery and residence for the Irish Ambassador and his team in the United States.

The mission review also detailed how the air conditioning system at the chancery had failed for an extended period during what can be sweltering conditions in the summer in the U.S. capital.

“This is a cause for concern as we move into the summer period once again,” said the report.

“Regrettably, because of the multitude of concerns, the Embassy team had to come to the view that it was no longer possible to hold events, or even meetings, in the Chancery.”