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Trina Vargo, head of the US-Ireland Alliance.

The brave woman who stands between us and leprechaun Armageddon

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Trina Vargo, head of the US-Ireland Alliance.

It appears there is only one person between us and leprechaun Armageddon here in America.

Step forward Trina Vargo.

The former Kennedy staffer, who now heads the US-Ireland Alliance, says we could suffer a dreadful fate of leprechaun poison if she isn’t listened to.

Writing in the Irish Independent on Monday she said, “When I created the US-Ireland Alliance in 1998, it was with a very big underlying question – do we care about a modern and evolving relationship between the United States and the island of Ireland, or will the relationship be relegated to shamrocks, leprechauns and St Patrick’s Day."

She goes on to state that, “The George J Mitchell Scholarship, one of the most prestigious scholarships in America, is under threat because, while everyone loves it, no one wants to pay for it.”

I have some ideas why that might be so – but later.

First a little background. The Mitchell scholarships sends 12 American students to Ireland to study for a year.

That’s it.

But to hear Vargo talk about it Irish America hardly exists outside this amazing program and where it does, it only cares for leprechaun hunting.

Mitchell scholars have been around for 14 years. I have yet to meet one who subsequently contributed to anything Irish or Irish American in any major way.

I may be wrong, but I would be surprised if I was.

Oh and they throw a fancy pre-Oscars party in Hollywood which has as much to do with Mitchell scholars as I have with quantum mechanics.

Vargo laments bitterly that no one will support her scholarships.

She blames the State Department and the Northern Irish government and Irish philanthropists and maybe even those leprechaun-obsessed Irish Americans who don’t see her genius.

She might try looking in the mirror.

There are few people so disliked in the Irish American community. She masquerades as an expert on all things Irish American when in Ireland, but I’d guarantee you most Irish Americans would not even recognize the name.

She spends quite a lot of her time slamming Irish Americans as backwards and shamrock-obsessed, which pleases her grand and important Irish partners in Ireland who love that type of American bashing.

Then she is surprised she is not getting any support here.

In fact a leprechaun pot of gold hunt would probably be supported more than her Alliance as most Irish Americans are well-wise to her Irish American bashing activities.

In her latest article she blames the State Department, Hillary Clinton, the Northern Ireland executive, Irish American and Irish philanthropists – all because they have refused to fund her.

She regularly berates Irish diplomats about the same issue.

Can no one see what a genius is in our midst?

Apparently not as she is now reduced to, essentially, begging for money in the Irish Independent.

(She just wants a mere $40 million.)

Even with the sainted George Mitchell lending his name, the Mitchell Scholarship program is clearly struggling. I take no joy in reporting that and wonder just how different it might have been if its founder showed some respect for Irish America and stopped hurling brick bats at it.

But it is way too late for that.

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