From across the Irish Sea
This task has certain parallels with the work of the headteacher of Holyrood, as winning and sustaining the support and confidence of parents and the wider community has been a major challenge. We have been offered a lesson on effective networking, as Mr Mulhall has created a positive and dynamic image of his country in Edinburgh's corridors of power and centres of commercial clout. While the processes we employ are similar, and we cover some of the same ground, Mr Mulhall has operated at a slightly more exalted level, as he is Consul General of Ireland.
Affable and enterprising, Dan Mulhall represents a modern and outward-looking Ieland, which cherishes its past and relishes its future, founded on the highly technological education of its young people.
The consul himself has a keenly developed sense of history, and during his term of office in Scotland, has completed an account of Ireland at 1900.
He has shown a lively interest in education during his tour of duty, speaking at university events and encouraging links between Scottish and Irish schools.
The visit to Scotland by his boss, the Taoiseach, to commemorate the human catastrophe of the famine, will be the culmination of Mr Mulhall's sojourn among us. This event will eventually take place in spite of the delay occasioned by insecurities and in defiance of the embarrassing rantings of obscure Westminster politicians.
Pat Sweeney is headteacher at Holyrood High School, Edinburgh