Thursday 22 February 2018

Mary Kenny: Dana's story of sibling rivalry as old as the hills

Dana Rosemary Scallon and her sister Susan Stein
Dana Rosemary Scallon and her sister Susan Stein

Although it is unlikely she will get to be Uachtarain na hEireann, let us not forget our historic debt to Dana Rosemary Scallon. I remember the very evening in 1970 when she won the Eurovision Song Contest with her guileless song 'All Kinds of Everything'.

It was the first time that Ireland had won the award and it was an occasion of much jubilation. The ditty may be the object of much ironic mockery now, but it did help to put a positive image of Ireland on the global map at a time when the the Troubles were dominating the headlines.

And she seems to have retained something of that mission to serve the country, because she has been able to see things from the outside. Yes, she became an American citizen, though she claims that she did not believe this would deprive her of her Irish citizenship. (My sister became an American citizen around the year 2000, but she retained her Irish passport and her entitlement to dual allegiance. Many Irish people have done this through the decades).

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