Saturday 27 August 2016

Maybe Obama can claim asylum in Money-gall?

Published 30/06/2014 | 02:30

U.S. President Barack Obama drinks from a pint of Guinness stout at the Ollie Hayes pub in Moneygall in May 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama drinks from a pint of Guinness stout at the Ollie Hayes pub in Moneygall in May 2011.
U.S. President Barack Obama waves to other revelers as he celebrates St. Patrick's Day with his ancestral cousin Henry Healy (2nd R) and Ollie Hayes (R), owner of a pub in Moneygall, Ireland that Obama visited in 2011, during a stop at the Dubliner pub in Washington March 17, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle sip Guinness at a pub as they visit Moneygall in County Offaly - it's unlikely they have difficulties getting served at a bar
Barack Obama enjoys a pint in Ollie Hayes pub in Moneygall
Success: Brendan O'Carroll

When Barack Hussein Obama, a man whose main executive experience was working as a community organiser in his native Chicago, was first running for presidential election, the world was given a very simple choice.

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After all, a vote for Obama if you were American, or vocal support if you lived outside the US, was the sign that you were a progressive, liberal type who felt that it was 'time' America had a black president.

Of course, there were plenty of people who saw beyond this witless nonsense. There were plenty of people, black and white, who warned that he would be a disaster as a president. And so that has come to pass – with his appalling and frequently disgraceful performance actually managing to exceed the worst fears of the doubters. But nobody loves to catch a ride on a famous person's coattails quite like the Irish and when it emerged that he was 1/128th Mick, amateur genealogists and chancers around this country started scouring parish records.

Those lucky winners of the genealogical, geographical Lotto were the people of Moneygall, Co Offaly, who immediately went into self-promotion overdrive. There is no doubt that Obama's visit here a few years back was a PR success for both the country and POTUS. We all remember how the incessant bandwagoneering of the Moneygolians quickly descended into a tedious and tiresome exercise in shameless gombeenery.

But in even the three years since that visit, Obama has proven to be an absolute disaster as a president.

Forget about all the subconsciously racist liberalism which argued that voting for a black man was, in itself, a liberal act – after all, that merely makes him the most successful beneficiary of affirmative action the world has ever seen.

No, incompetence, arrogance and smug venality are colour blind and even his former defenders have begun to discreetly, but swiftly, turn their backs on him.

But in Moneygall they still love their man. Even though, of course, he's not their man at all.

In fact, they love him so much that, on top of the gloriously named 'Barack Obama Plaza', which sounds like a presidential theme night in that hotel in Tallaght, this Friday sees the official unveiling of the President Barack Obama Visitors Centre.

So what can we expect from such a place? Well, let's hope it stays true to their master's message. That means that instead of greeters, they will have members of the New Black Panthers standing outside with billy clubs and cudgels to intimidate white visitors, as we saw during the 2008 election.

Maybe you shouldn't be surprised if you turn up only to discover that there was no record of your booking – after all, his subordinates like Louis Lerner in the IRS have an unfortunate habit of 'accidentally' deleting emails that might embarrass them.

But you know what? It's probably better if you don't bother booking at all and there is certainly no need to buy a ticket. No, just turn up out of the blue, insist on parking in the locals' driveway and then demand free entrance and an automatic jump to the head of the queue. Sure, you didn't pay for the service you are demanding and you have no reason or right to be there, but if it's good enough for Obama and millions of Latinos, it should be good enough for you.

In fairness to the Moneygolians, they insist that the new Visitors Centre will create jobs.Which, I suppose, is more than their idol has done in his home country.

Well that's me back in my box

This column touched on Brendan O'Carroll (below) and the phenomenal success of Mrs Brown's Boys the other day, and made the point that people can recognise his success without liking the show, the character, or the movie.

In fact, respecting the man's achievements while not being a fan is just about the opposite of 'begrudgery' – the standard accusation his fans throw at anyone who remains baffled by its success.

That seems fairly simple, yes? Guy spends years in the wilderness, suffers numerous setbacks and finally makes it big and everybody congratulates him, even though it's not their cup of tea. It's a good news story and one which, if anything, proves that we're not actually a nation of small-minded, bitter people.

Or maybe not.

A furious Browner got in touch the other day to complain that: "You begrudge this man his success after a lifetime of setbacks which should be an example to us all. You have the begrudgery disease that runs through every Irish town ... Is your vocation to depress further a nation who could do with a bit of inspiration? Stop being a bollocks."

That last sentence is something which is often said in my direction. But how can someone read a piece explaining that the simple act of not liking his comedy is not begrudgery and come away thinking that it's full of ... begrudgery?

I know people are too busy to fully read everything that's put in front of them, but you'd think someone who takes the time to write an angry email would at least bother to actually read that piece that annoyed them so much.

But that's obviously insensitive and 'unhelpful' towards idiots on my part.



Continuing the strange habit of some European zoos of killing viable animals, a Swiss zoo has been forced to defend itself after it killed a bear cub because it was being 'bullied' by its father.

The cub was perfectly healthy but rather than send it somewhere else, they euthanised it claiming that "nature can be cruel".

That's very true – but when you insist on keeping large animals in a pen for people to gawp at, then you have lost the right to use any argument about 'nature'.

Ian O'Doherty

Irish Independent

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