Tuesday 21 October 2014

Jason O’Brien: Daniel Day-Lewis is ours, and you can’t have him Britain

Published 14/01/2013 | 15:39

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 13: Actor Daniel Day-Lewis, winner of Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for "Lincoln," poses in the press room during the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

THAT Daniel Day-Lewis won another gong last night is hardly a surprise - the real shocker is the ‘Daily Telegraph’ listing him today in an article entitled ‘Britons triumph at the Golden Globes’.

The quintessentially-British newspaper has form here of course.

During the Olympics last August, it asked: “Can anyone beat Britain’s Katie Taylor, the most technically proficient attacking boxer in the world?”

That led to such a furore on Twitter and elsewhere that the newspaper hastily issued an apology amid well-founded fears that sections of the Irish populace would otherwise implode with self-righteous indignation.

Now another famous Wicklow resident has been sullied with claims of Britishness.

No doubt the ‘Telegraph’ would point to the fact that our Daniel was born and raised in England, and lived most of his life there.

But that would gloss over our trump card – Daniel’s father was Irish, born in Laois no less.

Aha! That means he is eligible for Irish citizenship – which he has taken up – and what with him living down Wicklow way for years now, the case is practically watertight.

Give the man a creamy pint of Guinness and a leprechaun costume, and let’s bathe in our shared-success of his likely Oscar success.

But wait.

The ‘Telegraph’ might then point to an interview with our Daniel a few years back when he talked about living here.

“Yes, I do have dual citizenship, but I think of England as my country,” he said then.

“I miss London very much but I couldn't live there because there came a time when I needed to be private and was forced to be public by the press. I couldn't deal with it.”

Hmmm.

Well, it’s well-known that Daniel is a little eccentric.

What else would stop him from immediately jumping at the chance to be ‘fully’ Irish when given the opportunity? Sure who wouldn’t want to be Irish? Aren’t we great?

If the ‘Lincoln’ star wasn’t so incredibly successful we might take it as a personal insult.

But then having double standards in this area is practically a national trait.

We generally scoff – out of earshot, and while taking their cash - at the Americans who come over here each year to find their ‘roots’ in an effort to prove their Irishness, for example.

But we were happy enough to delve deep into the archives to claim Barack Obama as one of our own, and weren’t too shy about telling the world about it.

The most powerful man in the world is one of us. No, really. Huzzah!

Just last week there was a headline on an Irish news website that ran, ‘Irishman who planned bin Laden raid to be named as new CIA head’.

Reading into the story, it turns out John Brennan’s parents were from Roscommon while he was, in fact, born and raised in New Jersey.

But perhaps this guy could be useful in the future, so we had few qualms about wrapping the green flag around him either.

The message seems to be: if you’re successful, you’re Irish. We will find a way.

Now, as it happens, Katie Taylor’s father is English.

But that in no way permits the British to claim her, or any part of her. It doesn’t work like that, unfortunately.

And the sooner someone quietly explains the rules to Daniel and the ‘Daily Telegraph’ the better.

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