Apart from Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney is probably the best known southern politician north of the border. He is a Corkman with an engaging smile, but with a serious manner.
An impressive speaker, he is well informed and anxious to learn more about any subject under discussion. His earnest, but down-to-earth manner appeals to the political psyche of northern unionists.
He is doggedly committed to helping the north and advancing the cause of reconciliation. His understanding of northern politics is second to none.
His political partnership with former Secretary of State Julian Smith MP was crucial in getting the power-sharing Assembly and Executive restored this January.
Despite his outstanding work in restoring Stormont, Smith was ungraciously sacked by an indifferent and ungrateful Boris Johnson.
But Northern Ireland was only a part of Coveney's wide remit as the Republic's foreign affairs minister. He had a huge range of international matters, including the almost all-consuming matter of Brexit.
Through his outstanding efforts and skilful diplomacy, he established successful working relations with most of the other member states of the European Union and was able to build a solid alliance between them and Ireland in order to get the best possible deal not just for the south, but for Northern Ireland as well in the event of Brexit occurring. His work has been prodigious and his successes impressive.
Now, in the last days of his eventful term in office as Minister for Foreign Affairs, he has won another outstanding victory: the election of Ireland to a two-year membership of the United Nations Security Council, starting in 2021.
This is an extraordinary achievement by Simon Coveney and his impressive team of Foreign Affairs diplomats, who campaigned assiduously and smartly for this prestigious position over the past year.
Ireland needed two-thirds of the United Nations General Assembly and achieved just that by winning 128 votes. Canada - Ireland's rival for the position - won 108 votes.
This was a great achievement for Ireland and demonstrates the ability of the Republic to get things done in international forums, be it the European Union or the United Nations.
It was a vote of confidence in Ireland and reflects its high standing and respect among the international community.
On hearing of Ireland's successful election to the Security Council, Simon Coveney said that the small nations of the world (of which Ireland is one) expect Ireland to be "a pebble in the shoe" of the large countries.
He further stated that the smaller nations would hope that Ireland would stand up for "awkward arguments" on the important Security Council.
The Security Council is made up of five permanent members, namely China, France, Russia, the US and the UK, and 10 non-permanent members.
The permanent membership is anachronistic, with the continued presence of the UK and France, who are there by dint of being winners in the post-Second World War settlement.
The exclusion of emerging states, like India and Brazil, is a nonsense. This dated structure needs to be overhauled.
There are many areas where Ireland can bring a fresh and independent mind to the UN and add to its standing in the international community.
Ireland has a good reputation in United Nations peacekeeping missions. Its peacekeeping forces are respected and admired for their fairness and discipline in carrying out their mandates. Their commitment to the standards of international humanitarian law is laudable.
The smallness of Ireland is an undoubted attraction for many other smaller nations, who see Ireland as a champion of small nations in today's world of increasingly aggressive and bullying superpowers.
The problem for Simon Coveney is that he is unlikely to be "a pebble" that is able to influence Ireland's future work on the Security Council, commencing January 2021, as he will probably be replaced by another minister in the proposed new government, which has still not received the imprimatur of the memberships of the respective parties, especially the unpredictable Greens.
This is not good news for Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs, as it has got used to his expert handling of that important office of state.
Nor is it good news for the negotiations of a new relationship between the UK and the EU and for the difficult post-Brexit period.
A change of key personnel at this moment is unhelpful, given crucial negotiations with a dangerously inept Boris Johnson.
Nor will Simon Coveney's departure be helpful for maintaining and developing good relations between Dublin and Belfast. However, such is the nature of politics.
His departure will create an unfortunate vacuum that will need to be quickly filled by a person of experience and standing. But at least he will still be in the new Irish Cabinet.