Entertaining the Obamas
Sir, – I am thankfully aware that the extremist views expressed by TD Clare Daly in Dáil Éireann regarding the visits of the US President and First Lady Michelle Obama are not reflective of those held by the overwhelming majority of the Irish people.
In his speech in Belfast on June 17th, President Obama commented on the decades of US commitment to Ireland, the key role of his administration and previous in the ongoing Northern Ireland peace process, and the personal connections shared by him and so many Americans to this island. While in Dublin, Michelle Obama spoke of the bright future for young people in Ireland and in the United States.
This week we welcome the 50th anniversary of the visit by President John F. Kennedy, a visit which some Irish commentators have called a turning point for modern Ireland.
Deputy Daly’s comments are deliberately offensive, which is unfortunate, but are ultimately of no consequence to the unique nature and great strength of the Irish-American relationship. Long may it be a relationship of mutual respect and friendship. – Yours, etc,
US Embassy, Dublin
Sir, – As someone who rarely has time for what Clare Daly has to say or the exaggerated manner in which she says it, I thought her remarks on the country’s “unprecedented slobbering” over the Obama’s visit hit the nail on the head (Home News, June 20th). In this case her hyperbole was warranted; and while one may quibble with the fact that pimps don’t usually prostitute themselves, the attempted analogy was entirely fitting.
While the Irish political establishment has been slobbering over US politicians for years, more should be expected of the Irish media, which took a completely uncritical stance on the blatant hypocrisy on display in a US president lecturing young students on peace while simultaneously presiding over drone strikes in Pakistan; attempts to arm rebels in Syria and a massive spying programme on its own citizens. In her speech in the Dáil Clare Daly showed an admirable degree of courage in revealing the double standards at work in US foreign policy that is often lost on many Irish people who allow themselves to be so easily seduced by glamour of the US presidency. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – It truly must be “ranting season” given the latest outburst by Independent TD Clare Daly, when she accused Taoiseach Enda Kenny of showcasing Ireland “as a nation of pimps, prostituting ourselves in return for a pat on the head” (Breaking News, June 19th). Her words are obviously a self-seeking publicity jaunt with as much sincerity as a squawking parrot. God help her if she ever has to make a decision that makes a positive difference to Ireland. – Yours, etc,
Bray, Co Wicklow.