Ray Bassett Bio
I am not from a privileged background. I was educated in O’Connell’s Schools and then to the level of a Ph.D. (biochemistry) in Ireland’s most prestigious University, Trinity. I was a beneficiary of educational reforms under the late Donagh O’Malley and the sacrifices of my parents.
I am a real independent candidate without links or understandings with any political party. I am standing on my record of solid achievements and my experience.
- After receiving my degree in Trinity, I undertook post graduate studies on Folic Acid under the late Professor John Scott, culminating in my Ph.D. Two of my children also studied at Trinity. Sections of my last books were written in the Berkeley Library, “Ireland and the EU Post Brexit” (2020) and “The Phoenix Park Way” (2021).
- I was a member of the Irish Government delegation to the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement, fully participating throughout the negotiations. I am endorsed by General John de Chastelain, co-chair of the Talks and Chair of the Decommissioning Commission, for this election.
- Irish Government representative in Belfast 2001-2005.
- Worked with a wide range of groups on the ground in Northern Ireland over 20 years; political parties, civil society and community organisations in both Republican and Loyalist areas.
- Oversaw the creation of the Irish Government Reconciliation Fund, post the Agreement, to support organisations involved in promoting better community relations within the North and throughout the island of Ireland. Since its inception, the Fund has assisted 1,900 groups and provided grants of €46m.
- As Assistant Secretary-General of Foreign Affairs, I headed the Irish Consular Service 2005-2010, including the Irish Government’s relations with the Irish Diaspora and was
- Responsible for the development of the Emigrant Support Fund. Since its inception the Programme assisted over 530 organisations in 36 countries with grants totalling €190 million, focused on marginalised Irish groups overseas.
- During that period, I had operational responsibility for Irish consular assistance to hundreds of Irish citizens in distress abroad each year.
- Also responsible for the operation and integrity of the Passport Service, 2005-2010. In 2006, the first biometric Irish passport was introduced and the Passport Act became law in 2008. The Irish passport is among the most respected passports worldwide.
- Served in Embassies in Copenhagen, Canberra and London. Ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and Bahamas 2010-2016.
- Oversaw the successful evacuation of 200 Irish citizens from Beirut during the Israeli/Lebanese war in 2006, the first ever Irish operation involving a major evacuation abroad.
- Operated the Irish Government’s overseas Kidnap policy 2005-2010. All 8 victims seized during that period were returned home safely.
- Negotiated a quota of 10,000 visas pa for Irish citizens to Canada, during the EU Bailout 2012/13.
- Led the Irish delegation to Washington which negotiated the one-year J1 visa in 2008.
- Former Columnist with the Sunday Business Post and a regular contributor to the print media in Dublin, Belfast, London and Toronto.
- Poynter Fellow in Journalism at Yale University 2020.
- raybassett.ie for more material