Opinion Ian O'Doherty

Monday 18 June 2018

Aki a fine player but shouldn't wear the green

Bundee Aki
Bundee Aki
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

What does it mean to be Irish? It's a question which has been asked a lot in the wake of the Halawa case, while forgetting the only legal fact that counts - he is an Irish citizen, and entitled to exactly the kind of consular assistance available to any other Irish citizen, regardless of where their parents come from. You can have as many doubts about the many holes in his story as you like, but the law is the law.

However, this question becomes a lot more interesting when asked about sports figures.

Connacht centre Bundee Aki is due to be named in the Irish rugby squad ahead of the November autumn international series. A fine player, he was born in New Zealand to Samoan parents but because he has been here for the requisite three years, he qualifies to wear the green.

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