Kenyan ambassador to Ireland Tabu Irina was treated to a military guard of honour while she was presenting her credentials to President Michael Higgin.
Donning a green dress designed with Kenyan flag embroidery, the diplomat was photographed in the company of two military officers inspecting the guard of honour.
This was a rare sight for some Kenyans who were perplexed by the military reception given that it is not a common practice across the globe.
Kenyans.co.ke established that ambassadors posted to Ireland do receive the guard of honour when presenting their credentials to the Ireland President before officially commencing their duties.
President Michael Higgin inspecting a guard of honour at a military function in Ireland.
Ireland Defence Forces
The Irish Defence Forces noted that the guard of honour is done during the presentation of the credentials as a sign of honour for the visitors.
Other foreigners who receive such receptions are visiting Heads of State and Heads of Government.
“Guards of Honour are deployed to render personal honours to persons of rank or position who are entitled to a Guard of Honour, on arrival at, or departure from, a location.
“All guards of honour are strictly reserved for State or military ceremonies, or for a ceremony of a distinctive national character,” the Military explained.
Notably, various ranks are involved in such receptions with some even involving music recitals.
While the military guard of honour may be a foreign concept in many countries, nations such as China have a routine for receiving ambassadors.
On the designated day for the presentation of credentials, the Office of the President dispatches a limousine to pick up the ambassador. Upon arrival, the ambassador steps out of the vehicle at the Main Entrance to the Presidential Office Building and then reviews the honour guard and band.
“A tri-service honour guard comprising a company of troops and the military band is conducted by the major of the honour guard,” the Office of the President for the Republic of China explained the tradition.
Irina was appointed ambassador by President William Ruto on November 2023 replacing her predecessor Michael Mubea.
President Michael Higgin alongside Kenyan ambassador Tabu Irina during the presentation of her credentials on January 23, 2023.
Irish Foreign Ministry