Dr Ray Bassett
Dr Ray Bassett is a former senior Irish diplomat who held the position of Irish Ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas (2010-2016). Bassett spent most of his career working for the Irish Government on the Northern Ireland Troubles and conflict resolution. He was part of the Irish Talks Team to the Good Friday Negotiations (1998), including at the final session at Castle Buildings in Stormont, Belfast. He subsequently became the Irish Government’s representative in Belfast 2001-2005 and part of the Good Friday Agreement’s Implementation team.
Other posts held by Dr Bassett include head of the Irish Consular Service 2005-2010 and the senior official in charge of Ireland’s relations with its Diaspora. He has had other postings in Ottawa, Belfast (twice), London, Canberra and Copenhagen.
Since his retirement from the Irish Diplomatic service, Bassett has been Senior Research Fellow at the London based Think Tank, Policy Exchange. He has also worked with Politeia, another leading Think Tank in London. In 2019, Bassett was awarded a Poynter Fellowship in journalism at Yale University, USA.
He was a columnist on the Sunday Business Post (Dublin) and has appeared regularly on radio and TV current affairs programmes in Dublin, Belfast and London.
Dr Bassett holds a PhD from Trinity College Dublin in biochemistry (on Folic Acid).
Bassett has strongly criticised Irish Government policy in relation to the European Union, arguing for a more euro critical line, including safeguarding the country’s traditional policy on neutrality and national sovereignty. He also called for Ireland to act as a mediator between Brussels and London during Brexit, rather than adopting a strong partisan line against Britain.