Friday, March 17, 2006


Paddy's Day politics

Nice image to your left eh? Never gets old!

The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has presented US President George W. Bush with the traditional bowl of shamrocks at a ceremony in the White House.

In their brief remarks at the shamrock ceremony, both Mr Bush and Mr Ahern referred to the historic links between Ireland and the United States, to the potential for progress in the peace process in the north of Ireland and to the controversial issue of immigration reform.

In the US it seems Irish issues are back on the agenda - for today at least - and I always find it amusing how the US media portrays the political situation here. They always seem to want to make it into a religious issue when it is clearly a predominantly political one. Take CNN's report on today's events for example:

"Joining him (the Taoiseach) at the White House were the rival leaders of Roman Catholic opinion in the British territory of Northern Ireland: Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA-linked Sinn Fein party; and Mark Durkan, whose Social Democratic and Labour Party represents moderate Catholic opinion.

"Also scheduled to attend were representatives of the major Protestant party, the Democratic Unionists, but not their fiery leader, the Rev. Ian Paisley. Reg Empey was representing the once-prominent Ulster Unionists, and Britain's secretary for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain, was on hand."

See what I mean? This really irritates me I must admit. It's ridiculous to still speak of things in Catholic/Protestant terms and how can anybody say the SDLP represents "moderate Catholic opinion"?

I'm sure many 'moderate Catholics" voted for Sinn Féin last time making them the largest nationalist party in the North. It's just shoddy journalism in my view.

I wish the US media would start looking at this issue in terms of nationalism/unionism as the Irish and British media is able to do.

Anyway, I hope you all have had a good day. I was amused to hear that 400,000 people were at the parade in Dublin. Earlier there were predictions of 700,000. Good old Irish apathy, eh? I'm just having a relaxing St Patrick's Day myself. Not going to get pissed tonight. However you choose to spend the rest of the evening, spend it wisely and responsibly!

I shall leave you with what I consider to be a far nicer image from St Patrick's Day:


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