Kenny labels Daly remarks ‘disgraceful’
Independent TD critical of ‘unprecedented slobbering’ over the Obama family’s visit
Clare Daly TD: “We were speculating this morning on whether you were going to deck the Cabinet out in leprechaun hats decorated with . . . stars and stripes to really mark abject humiliation.”
Ms Daly told Mr Kenny: “We were speculating this morning on whether you were going to deck the Cabinet out in leprechaun hats decorated with . . . stars and stripes to really mark abject humiliation.”
Ms Daly also accused the Taoiseach in the Dáil of showcasing Ireland “as a nation of pimps, prostituting ourselves in return for a pat on the head”.
She attacked Mr Obama as a “war criminal”, following his decision to supply arms to the Syrian opposition. Ms Daly also said he had increased the use of drones by 200 per cent, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people.
She asked the Taoiseach what he was going to do to ensure no weapons for Syria went through Shannon Airport, used by the US military in transit.
Support for peace process
But rounding on the Dublin North TD, Mr Kenny replied: “I think your comments are disgraceful. I think they do down the pride of Irish people all over the world who are more than happy to see this island being host to the G8 [summit].
“For you to stand up and criticise the American president for giving a continuation of support for a fragile peace process in Northern Ireland, where over 3,000 people lost their lives in 30 years, is a disgraceful do-down.”
Mr Kenny said Mr Obama “wants to support the peace process visibly and with assistance from the US, where 35 million Irish Americans want this peace process to continue”.
Ms Daly said: “It’s really hard to know which is worse. Whether it’s the outpourings of the Obamas themselves or the sycophantic falling over them by sections of the media and the political establishment.”
There had been news bulletins “to tell us what Michelle Obama and her daughters had for lunch in Dublin, but very little questioning of the fact that she was having lunch with Mr Tax Exile himself”, she said, in reference to U2’s Bono.
She was critical of Mr Obama’s decision to arm the Syrian opposition and said that would include arming jihadists and “fuelling the destabilisation of that region, continuing to undermine secularism and knock back conditions for women”.
Ms Daly said the president “is a man who has facilitated a 200 per cent increase in the use of drones, which have killed thousands of people, including hundreds of children”.
Calling on the Taoiseach to ensure weapons for Syria did not pass through Shannon, she asked: “What steps are you going to take to showcase this country, not as a lapdog of US imperialism but as an independent nation with an independent foreign policy which takes a lead in international diplomacy to outlaw the use of drones?”
Mr Kenny replied that “Ireland took a . . . position on this as articulated by the Tánaiste, that the embargo should not be lifted.”
Mr Kenny reminded the Dublin North TD that 100,000 Americans were employed in the US by Irish companies and said a similar number of Irish people were employed in the State by US companies.