One of Ireland's top officials in the European Union, David O'Sullivan, has been appointed as the EU's new ambassador to Washington.
The 61-year-old Trinity College graduate, originally from Churchtown in Dublin, takes up the post in September at a time of heightened transatlantic activity due to the crisis in Ukraine and a new EU-US trade agreement which is currently being negotiated.
Mr O'Sullivan has been one of Ireland's highest ranking officials at EU level, currently working as the chief operating officer for the EU's new foreign service arm, the External Action Service.
He has served as secretary general of the European Commission under former president Romano Prodi, and as the head of the Commission's powerful trade directorate.
First seconded to Brussels from the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1979 he has served in the cabinets of former Commissioners Peter Sutherland and Padraig Flynn.
In an interview shortly after his appointment he spoke to RTÉ's Europe Editor Tony Connelly about the challenges facing him when he takes up his post, on Ireland's relationship with Europe before and after the bail out, and what they're saying about Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Brussels.
He first asked him about criticisms that the EU had mishandled its relationship with Russia leading up to the crisis in Ukraine.
Watch Tony Connelly's interview with David O'Sullivan here.