Is it possible that U.S. President Barack Obama will allow a second St. Patrick’s Day to come and go without naming an ambassador to Ireland?
The diplomatic post has been open been since mid December 2012, when Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney stepped down after three and a half years. Several names have been floated since then for the job, but still no appointment. And the clock is ticking up to March 17.
Brian O’Dwyer, head of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center and a Democratic Party activist, said Obama’s failure to appoint an ambassador was “an absolute disgrace and a real and total disrespect to the Irish American community.” Irish Central‘s Niall O’Down reported the comments in his Periscope column of October 17, 2012. The column also quoted Stella O’Leary, founder of Irish-American Democrats (O’Dwyer is on the board): “There is no shortage of qualified Irish Americans for the job. There has been no communication, no reason given for the delay and this has been to the severe disadvantage of Irish America and Ireland,” she said.
Stuart Dwyer assumed the ambassador’s duties as Chargés d’affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin on September 5, 2013. That’s the same day that Anne Anderson was appointed by the Irish government as Ambassador to the United States, the first woman in the role.