In a career spanning 41 years in the Irish diplomatic service, Ambassador Donal Denham has lived among nine very different societies, spanning three continents. With stops in France, Zambia, the USA, Lithuania, Belarus, Finland and finally the Holy See, Donal has a few choice tales to tell. He opened two Irish embassies, served in all seven Irish Presidencies and had thought-provoking conversations with some fascinating people, including Ronald Reagan in the White House, Kenneth Kaunda in the State House and Mary Robinson in our own President's House.
Donal was inspired by is his grandfather, Eamonn Tuke, a volunteer in the Irish Citizen Army and a footsoldier of the Irish Rebellion of 1916 and War of Independence. And Donal's other hero, John F. Kennedy, famously said, "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." With those words in his ear and his partner Siobhan at his side, Donal served his country under many different guises to make its presence known in international settings and to offer the legendary Irish hospitality to fellow world citizens, and along the way made many enduring friendships. There were some tears, but much laughter too.
With a focus on funny incidents, happy moments and some achievements for Ireland Inc., Nine Lives is a refreshing and enjoyable read by a diplomat who thoroughly enjoyed his years as Ireland's envoy.