>> 30 Oct 2004

Paddy versus Sam

Every year around the time of St Patrick's Day I avoid the news as much as possible. I simply can't stand the mass vacation of Irish politicos to America for a wild Saturnalian Mardi gras at the White House. Pseudo-Irish shmucks the length of Uncle Sam consume copious quantities of green-coloured beer, sing 'The Wild Rover' out of tune and march down public thoroughfares brandishing the Tricolour. How revolting!!!

To put 'Irish America' into context, there were approximately 36 million who identified Irish ancestry at the last US Census (not the 40 - 44 million figure so beloved of Irish hacks). When broken down into Protestant or Catholic ancestry, the former is clearly the larger 'community' - around 21 million in total. That means that only 15 million Americans claim Irish Catholic decent (a measly 5.2% of the total population. Thus, all the nonsense about the exceptionally close ties between Ireland and America is just that - nonsense.

Where Europe is concerned, the USA has one relationship first and foremost (albeit one whose primary consideration lies in geopolitical cooperation as opposed to sentimental attachment): that with the United Kingdom. I wonder how many Americans would throw themselves into a fit of wild abandon every March if they were aware of just how much anti-American opinion there was in deal old 'Oireland'. Richard Delevan and Gemma O'Doherty both have excellent pieces on the state of Irish disdain for the United States.

In Delevan's article, he makes a comparison between the essential Left-wing ethos of the broad Irish media, and how their irrational dislike of Bush has manifested itself in the psyche of the Irish population. For my part, I think some of the dislike could even come down to Bush's black and white stance on terror. After all, few countries have a greater experience of harbouring and subliminally supporting terrorism than the Paddies (as we in the United Kingdom well know!!). Delevan concludes his piece by considering leaving the Emerald Isle permanently.

O'Doherty's article revolves around the personal experiences of two US citizens resident in the Irish Republic for the last few years. One, a prominent member of the Republicans Abroad, has suffered particularly unpleasant experiences. "We were getting weird calls, some of them threatening, so we had no choice," says Young, an economist from Arkansas whose wife is Irish.

"Out of 20 American business people living here who are members of our group, 12 are leaving Ireland. The most common reason they cite for going is that they are tired of the bashing. They just don't feel comfortable living here and they're not willing to put up with it any more.

"It seems in Ireland you can say whatever you like about Americans these days and get away with it. If you slotted in the words 'black person' instead of 'American', it would be a different story," Young continues.

To our American friends I say- please remember the words of James Young and Stan Korzeniewski before you venture out on ludicrous sessions so closely associated with St Patrick's Day. The Irish are a broader version of Sinn Fein/IRA when it comes to perceiving Uncle Sam. The country serves its purpose in promoting Irish political agendas, but the rest of that time it is broadly despised. American brethren, please wake up and smell the coffee!! Your celebrations pay homage to a nation which collectively dislikes you and your role in the world. Furthermore, it is a nation where terrorism is very much de rigeueur as evidence by the political growth of IRA proxies.


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