US-Ireland Alliance CEO claims no Irish taxpayer money spent on Mitchell Scholars
But Irish government statement directly contradicts her claim however
The US-Ireland Alliance president Trina Vargo has denied any Irish government money has gone to pay for the Mitchell Scholarships -- even though Irish Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn admitted as much in January of 2012.
Vargo was responding to a call by Kerry-based Irish Senator Mark Daly for an inquiry into Irish government spending on the Mitchell Scholarships after Vargo slammed Prime Minister Enda Kenny for presenting a heritage certificate to Barack Obama for St.Patrick’s Day.
“The shop in Shannon Airport must have been out of leprechaun dolls and chunks of the auld sod,” Vargo wrote.
"I’m from an opposition party,” Daly told Irish Central, “but I was shocked and disgusted at the cheap attack. She is supposed to be promoting Irish and American links, here she is slamming an Irish leader.”He called for her to appear before the Joint Committee on Education.
In her blog on the US-Ireland Alliance site she also described Irish people as “horrified” at Irish Americans and said they were laughing at how Americans spent St.Patrick’s Day. She had previously described efforts to help irish undocumented as “putting lipstick on a pig.”
After Daly went public with his call, Vargo contacted Daly and stated no money from Irish taxpayers was going to Mitchell scholarships.
Here is her note to Daly;
"No Irish taxpayer money is being spent on the Mitchell Scholarship program. None of my salary is being paid by the Irish taxpayer. This information is available to Senator Daly as an annual audit is provided to the Minister of Education and laid before the Oireachtas. Any suggestion to the contrary will be pursued.”
Trina Vargo, president of the US-Ireland Alliance.
However her comment that no Irish taxpayer money has been spent on Mitchell scholarships is directly contradicted by the Irish Minister for Education,
Here is the Statement by Rory Quinn Irish Education minister in January 2012 confirming they indeed do pay for the Mitchell Scholarships.
“The funding of the George Mitchell Scholarship Programme is a
reflection of the Government’s gratitude for the significant
contribution made by Senator Mitchell to the promotion of peace and
reconciliation on the island of Ireland. An Agreement was signed with
the US-Ireland Alliance in March 1999. An Irish Government endowment
of IR£2 million was subsequently paid into the Fund. The endowment was
to fund 2 scholarships of US$11,000 per year and to meet the
administrative costs associated with running the programme. A further
10 scholarships were funded annually under the George Mitchell
Scholarship Programme. The costs of these scholarships were met
through an endowment made by the British Government (2 scholarships
per year) and other private contributions and/or sponsorship
(including the US Government) secured by the US-Ireland Alliance.
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