We’re all Irish

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IT’S official. The president of the United States is Irish. Or to be more accurate, part Irish. And so he’s off on an official visit to the mother country to prove it. It was only a matter of time before he came out and admitted his Irish roots, as nearly every single American president before him, and I applaud him for his honesty. I spotted it immediately. It was that cheeky twinkle in his eye and his gift for the blarney that gave it away.

Plus if anyone’s ever seen him dance it was clear his roots are more Celtic (Dare I suggest he moves like a Welshman?) than African.  Apparently he is one of the Wicklow O’Bamas.

But then it’s the American thing to do. By going for the Irish vote, the president is following a traditional path of spreading the net as set by most previous incumbents. It just seems maybe a bit surprising here, given his name, his lack of freckles and anything else that is remotely, well ‘Irish’.

pres_barack_obamaMr O’Bama already has the African American vote. He is hip so he has the youth vote, and now he wants the massive Irish swathe that covers the continent. Who knows, he might declare Hispanic roots on his dad’s side twice removed and take to eating tacos in public.

I only make these observations being a part Irish Welshman myself. And anyone who has seen me dance can testify, I am the epitome of twinkling blarney with not one ounce of natural rhythm. I look at the president of the United States, and I see me. Almost.

Before I went grey, if I tried to grow a beard it came out in two ways, patchy, and ginger. Why this colour I don’t know, as the rest of my hair was mousy brown, but I guess that was the Irish bit. Maybe if the president went hippy, he too would have a ginger tint to his stubble? We never see him anything but clean shaven! But now that he has come out, perhaps he can grow a little Van Dyke and proudly show off its reddyness.

In the 60s when the threat was of the world turning red, I took it to mean the threat of communism, but of course it was to do with everyone having auburn genes. It’s surprising there’s anyone left in Eire given the billions of people throughout the world who claim some form of Irish heritage. Apparently, one in five Chinese have a cousin in Donegal, and 80 percent of Americans claim Irish roots – the figure is even higher amongst Mexicans.

Mullas who sport huge beards sometimes have them dyed red in a show of solidarity with Ireland. Or maybe it’s an Irish gene? Who knows. The point is the sooner we all become Irish the better. We (for I am part Irish, though admittedly, very far removed) are a gregarious fun loving race and not a bad role model for other societies. Everyone loves us, We’ve never invaded any other country and we have no snakes. What better recommendation for a country. We did invent River Dance, but then, no one’s perfect.

But most important of all, we invented Guinness. So join us, we’ll be waiting down the pub, with Mr O’Bama, and three quarters of the world’s population.

 

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