People and Politics by Patrick Roberts
US citizenship targeted as unclean in Irish presidential race as candidate Dana slammed
Posted on Saturday, October 08, 2011 at 04:39 AM
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It is interesting to note that Ireland's effort to reclaim its Diaspora with a major conference in Dublin is occurring at the same time as a presidential candidate there is being excoriated for being an American as well as an Irish citizen.
One wonders what the many American businessmen and women will make of the attacks in the media on Dana Rosemary Scanlon since she revealed she was also an American citizen.
Admittedly, she should have stated it earlier, but the hostility in the media is amazing to witness.
The Irish Times even helpfully printed the oath declaring allegiance to America that she took when she became a citizen, even though dual American and Irish citizenship is clearly allowed.
The unspoken message is that somehow Dana, who has lived the vast majority of her life in Ireland and only lived in America when pursuing an American singing career, is somehow an alien and not to be trusted,
Coming at a time when the Diaspora has been gathered to assure them that they are all deeply treasured and honored it comes as somewhat of a surprise.
The leading presidential candidate Michael D Higgins has chimed in saying that American citizenship in some way made Dana suspect on the entire issue of running for president.
The Irish Times devoted almost a full page to the matter, making it out as some kind of major scandal.
This is despite the fact that Dana has as much chance of winning as the man in the moon.
American citizenship is somehow associated with being unclean in certain quarters in Ireland .
Despite the investment, the tourists, the goodwill, there is still it seems a nativist suspicion of Americans that Dana has run smack into.
Don't get me wrong, the vast majority of Irish people are pro American and very supportive.
But there is a chattering class that delights in feeding an anti-American frenzy and they are in full flight right now.
It is a strange message to send to Irish Americans and Irish abroad everywhere.
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