Wednesday 21 August 2019

Taoiseach thanks his lucky stars and stripes for the riches of the US

US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the American Chamber Thanksgiving lunch in Dublin
US Ambassador Kevin O’Malley with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the American Chamber Thanksgiving lunch in Dublin

Lise Hand

If Enda Kenny was thanking anything as he arrived at the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland's Thanksgiving lunch, it was surely his lucky stars.

Despite his Government's valiant effort to ensure nothing notably negative erupts between now and election time, it's still prone to sporadic outbreaks of incompetence.

There's the shambles over the IBRC inquiry and the uncertain fate of the Banking Inquiry report, given the original draft appears to be a bit of a Thanksgiving turkey.

And then there's the unwelcome prospect of nurses on pre-Christmas picket lines and a reignition of the ever-simmering abortion war, just in time for the election.

But still, Fine Gael is bobbing along nicely in the polls. The latest one showed the party's upward momentum continuing.

The Taoiseach bustled into the Doubletree Hilton Hotel, a mere 15 minutes late, and was greeted by US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O'Malley and the chief executive of the American Chamber, Mark Redmond.

The cheery group posed for the cameras behind a stars and stripes. It was the biggest Thanksgiving lunch the Chamber had hosted, with 800 guests.

The A to V of commerce and finance was on the guest-list, from Accenture to IBM to Virgin Media. (Nama were also on the list, but then those lads are everywhere).

"Thanksgiving all started with refugees and a warm reception," Mr O'Malley said. "For almost 400 years, through war and peace, through prosperity and hard times, Americans have celebrated this tradition."

The Taoiseach was as content as a pig hoof-deep in the brown stuff. All his favourite things were in place - Americans, business people, words like "jobs" "prosperity" and "Obama".

And then the Taoiseach, aka, the Poohbah of Positivity, took the stage to proclaim how the country was in the process of staggering from the smoking rubble of the recession.

"After dark years the people of Ireland are finally starting to see in their lives the early signs of recovery - jobs for them and their children, a bit more money in their pocket. Next year, for the first time since the crisis began, we expect to welcome home more people than will leave. By 2020 we expect 70,000 Irish emigrants to have come home."

And given the day that was in it, there was a bit of plámás. After all, with the US government looking beadily at the various tax arrangements of American multinationals within our borders, it's wise to play nice.

"The importance of our economic relationship with the United States to Ireland's prosperity cannot be over-stated. America is a leading export destination for merchandise. You are our largest trading partner in services. You are the single largest investor in Ireland. Today - especially - thank you".

All Enda needs now is himself and Obama up on the back of a flat-bed truck in Castlebar sometime in February, and his gratitude would know no bounds.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss