Blog Archives

No Diaspora Irish need apply for constitutional convention in Ireland


The Constitutional Convention in Dublin will meet shortly to consider changes to the Irish Constitution.

The lack of an emigrant representative among the 100 strong members is an unfortunate reality that will lead to a perception abroad that once again the Irish government is making clear that the emigrant voice is not important, even though the emigrant dollar clearly is.

The convention is taking place against a backdrop of harsh economic times and increased efforts to bring the Irish abroad back into the fold. The emigrant vote would be a perfect place to start.

One of the issues to be discussed is the emigrant vote, and there was good news in an Irish Times poll this week, with 68 percent of those surveyed believing that emigrants should be allowed to vote in Irish presidential elections.

Only 17 percent believed that emigrants should be denied a vote. The finding is clearly a green light for the government and the constitutional convention to grab this issue.

Clearly there is a mindset in Ireland that the emigrant vote, under limited conditions, is a good step for this government. It will now depend on government willpower and determination to make it happen.

Currently, 115 countries worldwide allow their citizens abroad to vote. Even high emigration countries such as Mexico and Poland have the provision.

Read more news on Irish immigration here

Ireland badly needs to get in line with international consensus and provide its emigrants with a means of taking part in elections in the country of their citizenship.

Of the 115 countries, many impose restrictions on their citizens abroad. That is fair and reasonable. A time limit, such as five years after an emigrant has left home, would be a fair compromise.

Equally, presidential elections are far less likely to be impacted by emigrant votes than small rural constituencies in Dail (Irish Parliament) elections, which can swing on a handful of votes.

It is the symbolic rather than the actual impact that emigrants seek, the acknowledgement so often given when investment and funding is required that the diaspora is a vital part of the Irish identity.

Successive Irish governments have always maintained a healthy distance from the diaspora, never fully comprehending its priorities, its perceived foibles or its intent.

The result has been many missed opportunities to build the links that are so vital to Ireland at a time of maximum distress in the old country.

The Constitutional Convention is about managed change to ensure that all aspects of Irish identity are given full expression.

There is arguably no more important part of that equation than the Irish abroad, especially at a time when thousands are once again voting with their feet and leaving.

via No Diaspora Irish need apply for constitutional convention in Ireland | Irish News | IrishCentral.

via No Diaspora Irish need apply for constitutional convention in Ireland | Irish News | IrishCentral.

Barring of writer Tim Pat Coogan from U.S. is an absolute disgrace


The barring of Tim Pat Coogan from coming to America for a book tour is disgraceful. He was refused a visa when he applied for one for his new book tour.

It is one in a clear pattern of a number of recent clueless decisions at the American Embassy in Dublin at the consular level that defy logic.

Ambassador Dan Rooney is clearly unable or unwilling to use his own discretion in some of these cases.

Ever since Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith played a stellar role in the Irish peace process by running her embassy with an iron fist, the functionaries have done their very best to keep incoming ambassadors powerless.

Never mind that Kennedy’s role stand suit like a beacon in the annals of American diplomacy in Ireland. An ambassador the bureaucrats cannot control is a dangerous person indeed it seems.

They did not succeed in the Bush era where excellent appointments ensured that many political issues were retained at the ambassadorial level.

That does not seem to be the case today. The Tim Pat Coogan case is a travesty but senior Irish government officials have told me it is by no means the only strange decision emanating from the embassy in recent times.

There seems to be a hardening attitude there to make it as difficult as possible for people to come to the U.S. from changes in how the J1 one year visa program is being administered to several high profile turndowns.

Blink and you might think you were back in the McCarthy era.

Put simply, there was no greater defender of America in Ireland for the past few decades than Tim Pat Coogan, especially at times when the anti-American sentiment there was at its highest.

His pro-American stances, both in his Irish Press newspaper and his writing about the power of the Irish Diaspora were major factors in keeping the American flag flying in Ireland.

He played a key behind the scenes role in the Irish peace process, especially in the early days when his contacts with Father Alex Reid, the unsung hero of the entire process, were vital.

He was deeply trusted by the Kennedy family and it was a famous meal in Dublin he had with Senator Edward Kennedy convincing him of the need for a visa for Gerry Adams that swayed the Massachusetts senator as well as helping bring President Clinton into the loop.

Visiting Irish Americans are always assured of a hearty welcome from Tim Pat and his backing for America and stance against the anti-American rhetoric so often spouted in Ireland made him this country’s prime defender.

Yet this is the 77-year-old man who the American Embassy just refused a visa to come to America too and humiliated him in the process?

Is there no institutional memory whatever at the embassy that can separate and remember a friend? No one who was able to realize the deep insult they had just inflicted on America’s greatest journalistic ally there?

Where was Ambassador Rooney in all this, as we know he was personally aware of the case?

There are so many questions but one undeniable fact. It will be a blot forever on the Dublin embassy that it humiliated one of its greatest supporters and Ireland’s leading historian by refusing a visa to launch his new book on the Irish famine.

Disgraceful is the word for it.

via Barring of writer Tim Pat Coogan from U.S. is an absolute disgrace – America’s greatest friend in Ireland insulted by the U.S. Embassy | Periscope Niall O’Dowd | IrishCentral.

via Barring of writer Tim Pat Coogan from U.S. is an absolute disgrace – America’s greatest friend in Ireland insulted by the U.S. Embassy | Periscope Niall O’Dowd | IrishCentral.

MovieBabble

The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

OLD HOLLYWOOD IN COLOR

...because it was never black & white

LEANNE COLE

Art and Practice

CURNBLOG

Movies, thoughts, thoughts about movies.

FilmBunker

Saving you from one cinematic disaster at a time.

From 1 Blogger 2 Another

Sharing Great Blog Posts

Wonders in the Dark

Cinema, music, opera, books, television, theater

Just Reviews

Just another WordPress.com site

Mark David Welsh

Feeding Soda Pop to the Thirsty Pigs since 2013

conradbrunstrom

Things I never thunk before.

News from the San Diego Becks

The life and times of Erik, Veronica and Thomas

The Silent Film Quarterly

The Only Magazine Dedicated To Silent Cinema

Leaden Circles

First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.

My Archives

because the internet is not forever

CineSocialUK

Up to the minute, fair, balanced, informed film reviews.

PUZZLED PAGAN PRESENTS

A Shrine to Pop Culture Obsessiveness. With Lots of Spoilers

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be” – Peter DeVries

thedullwoodexperiment

Viewing movies in a different light

Twenty Four Frames

Notes on Film by John Greco

Suzanne's Mom's Blog

Arts, Nature, Good Works, Luna & Stella Lockets & Birthstones

It Doesn't Have To Be Right...

... it just has to sound plausible

NJ Corporate Portrait Photographer Blog

The life of a corporate portrait photographer who likes to shoot just about anything.

arwenaragornstar

A French girl's musings...

Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)

Australian movie blog - like Margaret and David, just a little younger

Octopus Films

A place for new perspectives on films, TV, media and entertainment.

scifist 2.0

A sci-fi movie history in reviews

The Reviewer's Corner

The Sometimes Serious Corner of the Internet for Anime, Manga, and Comic related things

First Impressions

Notes on Films and Culture

1,001 Movies Reviewed Before You Die

Where I Review One of the 1,001 Movies You Should Watch Before you Die Every Day

Movies Galore of Milwaukee

Movie Galore takes a look at Silent films on up to current in development projects and gives their own opinion on what really does happen in film!

The Catwing Has Landed

A Writer's Blog About Life and Random Things

Gabriel Diego Valdez

Movies and how they change you.

The Horror Incorporated Project

Lurking among the corpses are the body snatchers....plotting their next venture into the graveyard....the blood in your veins will run cold, your spine tingle, as you look into the terror of death in tonight's feature....come along with me into the chamber of horrors, for an excursion through.... Horror Incorporated!

Relatos desde mi ventana

Sentimientos, emociones y reflexiones

Teri again

Finding Me; A site about my life before and after a divorce

unveiled rhythms

Life In Verses

Gareth Roberts

Unorthodox Marketing & Strategy

leeg schrift

Taalarmen

100 Films in a Year

12 months. 100 films. Hopefully.

%d bloggers like this: