Friday 9 December 2016

Don't look to White House for help in finding Irish Dream

The Taoiseach should be wary of what he learns from his meeting with the President-elect

Eoin O'Malley

Published 13/11/2016 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Steve Humphreys
Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: Steve Humphreys

Assuming it hasn't been blown up or closed for redevelopment, it looks as if Enda Kenny will get his invitation to the White House next March.

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His haste to contact President-elect Trump might seem unseemly, but for him not to have done so would have risked some Irish interests. Kenny loves Americana and as well as a few trinkets for his kids, he might try to pick up some lessons from Trump's victory to head off a populist revolt in Ireland.

On the face of it there are probably lessons to learn. The biggest switch to Trump was by poor people who are angry, who feel dispossessed. Ireland surely has plenty of these since the crash. But the obvious lessons will be wrong. Nor should he try to pick up simple lessons from Brexit Britain, or Le Pen's France. To paraphrase Tolstoy: each contented country is alike, but the discontented countries are discontent in their own way.

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