It is believed that two potential ambassadors to Ireland from the Obama administration either failed the tough background checks or decided not to go through with them, leading to a very long vacancy.
Former ambassador Dan Rooney even stepped back into the breach on July 4th to host his annual football game at the U.S. Embassy.
The first person chosen was said to be a former politician, and the second a leading money bundler for Obama, according to reliable sources. Neither completed the process.
Irish government sources are said to be puzzled by the long wait. It is possible the new ambassador will not take up their position before January of 2014.
It will be close to a year before the position is filled given that former Ambassador Dan Rooney announced his intention to step down in December 1012.
Ireland will be lucky to have an ambassador in place by then given the need for a confirmation hearing and briefing process.
The unprecedented delay continues as other key embassy posts such as Britain and Japan have been announced with Caroline Kennedy accepting the latter post.
“The Ireland position is being filled, but we don’t know by who and when,” said an Irish government source. “It is quite late and that is surprising.”