I AM writing in reaction to your recent coverage of the Congressional battle over funding for the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and the apparent role of Trina Vargo, who was recently given a forum by The Irish Times to weigh in to oppose the valuable efforts of this fine organization.
It borders on the bizarre that Ms. Vargo has emerged as a political ally of Glenn Beck, the Tea Party and right-wing Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz in opposition to U.S. support for Ireland through the IFI.
Her attack on the valuable work done by the IFI to foster and preserve peace through constructive action is equally strange.
Why does she see putting Irish young people from both communities to work in Northern Ireland as a bad thing?
Isn't it a good thing to create jobs for hundreds of Irish young people in Ireland that enhances local tourism, ecology and employment? To help build viable peaceful communities, this is what the IFI does.
On the other hand, Ms. Vargo’s Mitchell Scholarship Program brings 12 Ivy League American students, all expenses paid, to Ireland each year.
Which program does Ireland most need now? Clearly the IFI.
That’s how the Obama administration sees it. Glenn Beck, the Tea Party and Ms. Vargo see it differently.
James J. Regan
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore