Daily Archives: March 19, 2015

Selling ‘Ireland’ and Forgetting the ‘Irish’? Some Thoughts on the Taoiseach’s St. Patrick’s Day Speech

A fascinating and factual view of the relationship between Ireland and America which is honoured in Washington D.C. and other U.S cities in March each year. The thousands of Irish emigrants, many Famine emigrants, who gave their lives for America in the American Civil War and who helped shape that nation are apparently forgotten. It seems altogether astonishing that the Irish government considers that they are irrelevant in what is Irish American heritage month in the United States of America.

Irish in the American Civil War

This week Ireland’s Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, visited America for St. Patrick’s Day. Each March, our small country enjoys exceptional treatment on the other side of the Atlantic, treatment which includes a meeting with the President of the United States at The White House. Ireland’s relationship with the U.S. is the envy of other small countries. That relationship is almost entirely based on the affinity that many Americans hold for Ireland as a result of their own ancestry. In other words, Ireland has its past emigrants to thank for the extraordinary access and coverage we enjoy annually in one the world’s largest nations. It seems to me, however, that in our eagerness to use these opportunities to sell ‘Ireland’, we are consistently forgetting to remember the ‘Irish.’

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with President Barack Obama in The White House (Wikipedia) An Taoiseach Enda Kenny with President Barack Obama in The White House (Wikipedia)

As might be expected, Ireland uses the opportunity presented every March…

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