Diplomatic remarks


Sir, – In his Irishman’s Diary (July 12th), Conor O’Clery described the British ambassador’s recent “candid remarks about Donald Trump” as causing a “trans-Atlantic contretemps”. He also reminded us of an occasion when a press attaché in the American embassy was “ordered home” when he described the Irish as being “wild eyed” and Ireland as being “small potatoes”.

The diplomatic contretemps that I remember was an occasion when the German ambassador made jokes about the Irish to a German audience and we all took offence. He was even told off by the then-minister for foreign affairs.

The irony of that particular episode is that the stereotypical German is not noted for his or her sense of humour whereas we are always great gas.

The German sense of humour getting Paddy up on his high horse was, therefore, a reversal of the stereotype.

But we did not see the joke in that particular contretemps. – Yours, etc,


Sutton, Dublin 13.

Sir, – I can’t vouch for the veracity of the tale about the Americans spending millions developing a pen that worked in space while the Russians just used a pencil. By the same measure, further to the leaking of British ambassador to the US Kim Darroch’s confidential emails, perhaps the British should now mirror the Russians who, it is reported, have reverted to the use of a less hackable form of communication, namely the old-fashioned letter.– Yours, etc,


Ballinasloe, Co Galway.