Oh woof, it's the tail telling the dog

[caption id="attachment_67098" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Mary Davis."]


What you are about to read below is from an Irish national daily newspaper. To spare its blushes, it shall remain nameless.

"Meanwhile, Sinn Fein has confirmed that Mr. McGuinness will not be allowed to vote for himself on October 27. Sinn Féin has confirmed that Mr. McGuinness will not be eligible to cast a vote for the forthcoming election.

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As a Derry resident, Mr. McGuinness qualifies for Irish citizenship and a passport; however to vote in elections in the Republic, electors must have proof of an address within the 26 counties. According to Sinn Féin spokesperson Áine Downes, "This highlights the fact that Irish citizens in the North do not have a say in the election of the country's president. This is an issue that Martin has raised consistently and will continue to campaign on.

"Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams encountered a similar problem in December of last year after he failed in his first attempt to be added to the electoral register just weeks before the general election in which he was standing. But he was eventually successful in his attempt to vote in the general election."

Indeed. IF has raised eyebrows more than once when pointing out that Mary McAleese couldn't vote for herself when she ran for her first term as president. That's because she was domiciled in Belfast.

The fact that Irish citizens in the North, and elsewhere on the planet outside the 26 counties, can't vote is another eyebrow raiser. But here was had the voting rules being confirmed to a major daily newspaper by a political party with that paper apparently languishing in ignorance. Ye Gods!

On another matter, McGuinness doesn't qualify to be an Irish citizen. He is one automatically by virtue of his birth on the island; as such, he "qualifies" for an Irish passport.


While the Irish presidential field continues to grow it is getting harder to make predictions as to who will win out on voting day. To some extent, given the voting system, the size of the posse riding hard for the Phoenix Park could end up giving the less well known candidates a bit more of an outside chance.

One who might benefit in this regard is independent candidate Mary Davis who is best known for her charitable work. Davis is in many respects the Adi Roche of the 2011 race. Of course, if she wins the presidency she would be the third Mary in a row to occupy the office and that would be an standout fact for the history books all on its lonesome.


PJ Bradley, lately retired from active political life in the SDLP, was the source of some of the most fighting words on the plight of the undocumented Irish but he has a successor in MLA John Dallat.

Here's the SDLP Deputy Speaker on the Northern Ireland Assembly in a recent statement.

"Over the last 30 years many of our young people left these shores and traveled to the U.S in search of a better life and an expectation that the immigration laws would change in response to the promises made by American politicians who are always keen to court the Irish vote.

"Promises that the plight of the 'undocumented' was being addressed were made with regularity as the lawyers reached out for the dollars and the lobbying on Capitol Hill reached fever pitch as each American election loomed. What hypocrisy.

"Today the witch hunt to find the 'undocumented' has been ratcheted up with Irish people being rounded up, thrown in jails in shackles and chains and dragged before the courts as common criminals before being dispatched back to Ireland, leaf alone and not allowed to travel with their families for security reasons.

"Many have toiled day and night, raised children, bought homes with mortgages only to find they have no rights of appeal, no one to back them and even the privilege of access to their families taken away from them while they mingle in jail with some of the most dangerous criminals in the world.

"In the future this will get worse as new laws will make it impossible for any 'undocumented' person to find a job and left with no choice but to come home or join the thousands who are already on the streets sleeping rough and facing an early death.

"History has been well and truly rewritten. Forgotten are the reasons why many of these Irish people went to the U.S., often forced out by paramilitary killer gangs or elements within the then security forces. Others went because their relatives went before them where they made a major contribution to building the United States. Some foolishly believed the false promises only to learn that it was only eyewash calculated to deliver the Irish vote by Yankee politicians who are not worthy of being linked to anything Irish.

"Hopefully this 'cleansing' will not be allowed to continue as it is planned and the Irish government, with the support of the Assembly, will spell it out to those on Capitol Hill that they are not welcome in Ireland to be photographed drinking pints of Guinness before elections while Irish citizens are being rounded like cattle with no rights of appeal and a preconceived notion that they are criminals to be bound in shackles and chains before deportation. Shame on the U.S.!"

Strong words indeed. But these are hard times indeed on the immigration front if you're Irish, no doubt about it.


Here's the Washington Post's editorial board opinion on the Republican presidential field in the context of immigration reform.

"When quizzed on the problem of illegal immigration at their debate the other night, the Republican presidential hopefuls were by turns vague, evasive, confused, contradictory and - in the notable case of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who opposes a border fence because it might prevent law-abiding Americans from withdrawing their savings and fleeing to Mexico in a crisis - harebrained.

"If a majority of the GOP aspirants agreed on anything, it was that nothing meaningful can be done about the nation's dysfunctional immigration system and the presence of 11 million undocumented immigrants until the southern border is 'secure.' And as Texas Gov. Rick Perry asserted, 'It is not safe on that border.'"


Pete King would for sure raise the level of straight talk in the GOP presidential pack but that isn't going to happen it would appear. The Hill reported that King indicated that he would not be in the hunt for the White House next year

"King had floated the possibility of running earlier this year while acknowledging it was unlikely to happen," the D.C. political paper reported

"I'm not running," King said.

Added the report: Asked if he had officially made that known, a smiling King indicated he had not: "No one has asked me in a while."