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US President Barack Obama couldn’t even meet the Taoiseach on March 17 to accept the ‘traditional’ bowl of shamrock.
Enda Kenny had to wait around for a few days before being granted an audience with him. The shamrock will be thrown in the bin after the ceremony.
Apparently the reason for the presentation is to gain the dubious benefits of having ‘access’ to the President of the United States.
No doubt other countries could get the same access if they were prepared to prostrate themselves before the most powerful man in the world on their national days.
If Scotland becomes independent in 2014, instead of staying in Edinburgh, Alex Salmond could celebrate St Andrew’s Day by giving a bowl of thistles to Barack Obama in Washington.
The United States could themselves adopt this policy in future and present the Chinese President with an apple pie on July 4th in order to attract more investment from the booming Asian economy.
Numerous small countries in Europe and elsewhere show that stronger and more sustainable economies than Ireland’s can be developed without having to engage in this type of embarrassing behaviour.
Colm Ó Broin
Baile Átha Cliath
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