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Kevin Vickers Was Just Appointed Ambassador to Ireland

The country's most famous sergeant-at-arms is being given a prestigious placement.

Photo via CPAC digital archives

The man credited with taking down ISIS sympathizer and infamous Ottawa shooter Michel Zehaf-Bibeau is being given Canada's top diplomatic job in Ireland.

Kevin Vickers, the current House of Commons sergeant-at-arms, is being named ambassador to Ireland by the Stephen Harper government, where he'll hold residence in Dublin in a prestigious diplomatic position in Europe.

Vickers was labelled a hero by everyone from Canadian members of parliament and the prime minister to the Israeli Knesset and Stephen Colbert, who boldly lauded Vickers for putting the "'eh' in 'yippee-ky-eh, motherfucker'" and compared him to action movie star Bruce Willis.


"Kevin Vickers has shown profound leadership and dedication to the security of Canada and its national institutions," said Harper in an official statement. "His extensive experience working with Parliament, as well as his bravery and integrity, will serve to deepen close bilateral relations between Canada and Ireland in the years ahead."

After Zehaf-Bibeau killed a soldier at the national war memorial and stormed Parliament Hill, firing his hunting rifle wildly, Vickers reportedly grabbed his handgun in pursuit of the suspect.

Creeping around the corner of his office with his sergeant-at-arms garb still on, Vickers surprised the shooter from around the corner, diving while delivering the fatal gunshots to Zehaf-Bibeau.

Though even esteemed sergeants-at-arms aren't always offered such prestigious appointments, Vickers has a strong track record of public service.

Serving in his current position since 2006, Vickers was also an officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where he served a decade in First Nations communities in the Northwest Territories, worked in major crime units, and then helped create the National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet.

Vickers is known as a stoic and measured individual. The day after the shooting, Vickers famously walked into the House of Commons to a standing ovation, lips quivering, while remaining stone-faced during one of the highest orders of public respect ever delivered to a Canadian citizen.


Vickers will be familiar with Celtic culture as an Irish-Canadian, while this legacy appointment is already warmly received on the other side of the Atlantic: the Irish Independent is reporting the appointment of a Canadian shooting "hero" to the ambassadorship in Dublin.

For Canada, maintaining strong Irish relations is just as much a historical as it is a diplomatic tradition. With more than 4.4 million Canadians claiming Irish ancestry, making it the fourth-largest ethnic group in Canada, the country maintains strong diplomatic relations—Ireland being a key United Nations ally for Canada establishing treaties together. The two countries also enjoy employment and immigration programs with one another.

Vickers will soon present himself to Irish President Michael Higgins. He will replace former Conservative cabinet minister Loyola Hearn, who has served in the post since 2011.

Though ambassador appointments can sometimes be viewed as political rewards for donors or party insiders—especially lush European locales—Vickers clearly deserves the appointment. After all, it's not every day you find a Canadian with the swagger of John Wayne, and the professional background of an RCMP officer, who has a penchant for First Nations relations and boasts a heart of gold.

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