We claim you as one of our own, Mr President
As we await the arrival of Air Force One, Joseph O'Connor sets out the lay of the land for Barack Obama
Dear Mr President, you are soon to visit Ireland, and we're very excited to welcome you. Although having a politician of style, eloquence and wit among us is of course nothing new -- no, really -- we can never have enough of the finer things of life.
We intend claiming you as one of us, and we hope you don't mind. The fact that you are not actually resident in Ireland need be no barrier at all. Indeed, some of our most successful business people express their patriotic fervour by living in other countries for tax reasons. One of them is said to have a tattoo reading 'Ireland Forever' on his forearm. (The words 'I'm leaving' precede it, in small print.)
It might be useful for you to have a couple of pointers so as to make your visit more enjoyable. Well, Mr President, what can I tell you about our country? To say we're going through some stuff at the moment would be to riot in tact, but then every cloud has its silver lining. There used to be a bit of friendly banter among the natives about whether Cork or Dublin is the true capital of Ireland. But that's all been settled now. It's Frankfurt.