Irish Times columnist David Adams has taken grave exception to Barack Obama’s speech in Dublin last week.
The Northern Ireland writer who is a former Loyalist activist stated that “The US president’s part in the College Green victims of colonialism pageant was galling.”
“Only a fine line separates a great orator from a flimflam merchant. And much as I admire the man, Barack Obama proved the point with his speech the other week at College Green, Dublin.
“So patronising was he that halfway through I found myself wondering what kind of brief his two Irish-American speech-writers had been given: 'Let’s just tell these people whatever they want to hear?'"
Adams stated the Irish should stop playing the victim and having politicians like Obama pander to them.
“There has always been something rather pathetic about Ireland marketing itself as a casualty of colonialism and competing for victimhood status with former British colonies in the developing world."
The Irish completely overreacted with self praise to his speech, Adams wrote.
“In large part, but not entirely, the problem with his speech lay not so much with Obama as with his audience. If he had made similar complimentary remarks in London, Madrid or Munich they would have been warmly applauded and then shrugged off as a typical piece of political hyperbole.
“But in Ireland – where history is little more than self-serving delusion at the best of times and where the very essence of a historian’s job, revisionism, is considered the greatest professional sin he or she can commit – they were taken as gospel.
Adams concluded: “My apologies to Obama for being so critical, but the sort of one-eyed historical/mythological mix that he delivered has done and continues to do enormous damage in Ireland.”
Moving to Ireland
After living in Ireland for almost one year, this is what I’ve learned