Kerry-based Irish senator Mark Daly has asked Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore to appear before the Irish senate to explain why US-Ireland Alliance president Trina Vargo will not appear before the Oireachtas Foreign Relations Committee.
Vargo has created several controversies in recent times, speaking out against plans to help legalize the Irish undocumented, an effort she described as similar to putting lipstick on pigs, and most recently slamming Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny for presenting an Irish heritage certificate to President Obama at a St.Patrick's Day White House event.
The Alliance which sends 12 students to Ireland every year, holds an annual Hollywood party heavily funded by US and Irish taxpayers.
Daly stated "I ask ..... the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to come to the House to discuss the US-Ireland Alliance. The Mitchell scholars programme is a great programme in honour of an extraordinary man but, unfortunately, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade has been unable to get a definitive answer from the president of the US-Ireland Alliance on whether she will appear before the committee to talk about the role and work of the organisation.
"A letter was sent to her from the chairman of the committee, following a request by members on all sides and from both Houses that she appear before the committee to talk about the US-Ireland Alliance. I find it extraordinary that she would not reply in a clear manner that she is willing to appear.
Many members have received invitations from her to attend an event in Dublin next week, which she will be at, yet she does not see fit to talk to the committee. She is most evasive and, rather than accept the invitation, she avoided giving a definitive answer.
“I am asking for the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to appear in the House seeing as the president of the US-Ireland Alliance will not indicate whether she will appear. The Irish taxpayer will give over €20 million to the programme-----
“The president has not indicated that she will appear before the committee. The Minister forForeign Affairs and Trade is a member of the board of the US-Ireland Alliance and when he comes in he could explain why the president of the organisation will not indicate whether she will appear before the committee. “