Daly's 'nation of pimps' claim was out of line, says Doyle
NOVELIST Roddy Doyle has poured scorn on comments made this week by Independent TD Clare Daly that Enda Kenny showcased Ireland "as a nation of pimps" during the Obama visit to Ireland, describing her comments as "completely over the top".
"In a way, the president and his wife are like rock stars. Clare Daly has a point in that he is a politician and responsible for a lot of things that go on in the world. But as for her language – it was simply out of line," he said.
"I don't buy into the argument that it costs the taxpayer a lot to have them here, either. I heard from somebody that when it comes to security, the Americans pay their way.
"Presumably Ireland having the Presidency of the EU cost a fortune as well, but would anyone suggest we shouldn't do it? Probably not."
The best-selling author was speaking at the Ireland Funds Annual Conference in the K Club, Co Kildare, where he received an award for his contribution to Irish writing. He was delighted to receive a $25,000 (€19,000) bursary for Fighting Words, a creative writing centre he founded.
Mr Doyle said: "We can do an extraordinary amount with that. It will be well spent and it's badly needed."
More than 220 guests attended the annual dinner of the Ireland Funds.
The charity chose the K Club for its conference, attracting well-heeled donors from around the globe, most notably the US.
A key issue to be discussed at this weekend's conference is the 'Promising Ireland Campaign', which is a response to the economic downturn in Ireland and the knock-on effects it has on charity fundraising.
An initial plan to raise $100m by December has now been exceeded and it's estimated this figure will top $150m, which is to be divided between 350 projects North and South.