The former US ambassador to Ireland, Richard Egan, has warned the publisher of an Irish American magazine she had “better think twice before trying to influence American politics” as “the Irish are not the only ones with long memories”.
Mr Egan, one of President Bush’s top fund-raisers, also complained in a letter to the magazine of increasing anti-US sentiment in the Irish media, and accused Irish political parties of “dysfunctional behaviour”.
The former envoy wrote the letter to protest at alleged bias in an article in the latest issue of Irish America, in which the positions of Mr Bush and Mr Kerry on Ireland were laid out side-by-side.
Earlier this month, he described his second year in Ireland was “very, very, boring.” Speaking at a meeting of Irish American Republicans in New York, he said that “anybody with aspirations for the job should think twice”. He left the three-year posting one year early late last year to work on the Bush re-election campaign.
The magazine’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, Patricia Harty, accused Mr Egan of misreading the article.
Referring to the “implied threat that I ‘better think twice before trying to influence American politics’,” she said Irish America was an American publication and she was an American citizen.
“I’m sure I need not remind you of the First Amendment, which, in my opinion, is one of the greatest freedoms ever given to any country,” she said in reply.