Diplomacy and men-only US events


Sir, – I’m astonished to hear that the Society of the Friendly Sons of St Patrick is still excluding women from its events (“Taoiseach urged to stop sending diplomats to men-only US events”, News, January 2nd).

They wouldn’t accept me (a government minister) in the 1980s but Garret FitzGerald persuaded me to refrain from a public objection because we needed to get Irish America onside to support the Anglo-Irish agreement.

Surely these days no such influence is wielded by the dinosaurs of Irish America.

The Taoiseach should make it clear that Ireland is a country nowadays which will not go along with discrimination against women.

So I support the US-Ireland Alliance, and I urge Leo Varadkar to do the same. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.

Sir, – I presume that in your report of the email sent by Trina Vargo of the US-Ireland Alliance to the Taoiseach you quoted only part of Ms Vargo’s mail. You quote her as saying, “I am writing to strongly encourage the Irish government to stop sending diplomatic representatives to these men-only membership organisation events.”

I assume that Ms Vargo also asked the Taoiseach not to send Irish diplomatic representation to dinners and other events organised by women-only membership associations, societies and caucuses? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 8.