EXECUTIVE director of the Ireland-US Council, Roddy Feely, has dismissed claims that the failure to appoint a US ambassador to Ireland is a ‘slap in the face to Irish Americans and Ireland’.
The position has not been filled since previous ambassador, Dan Rooney, resigned in December 2012. This is the longest period of time the position has been vacant.
Irish-American lobbyist and lawyer, Brian O’Dwyer, has heavily-criticised the US government for not filling the position.
Speaking to Sky News, O’Dwyer said: ‘There’s any number of people who want this job, many of them well qualified. I have no idea why this is happening’. He called the situation ‘a disgrace’.
Speaking to News Anois, however, Roddy Feely rejected these claims.
He said the Ireland-US Council ‘understands that similar delays are being experienced in other countries’.
He said the delay in appointing a successor to Dan Rooney has not had an adverse effect on the council’s work.
‘We’ve been working well with deputy ambassador Stuart Dwyer,’ he said. ‘We haven’t seen our work affected.’
He went on to say he does not agree with Brian O’Dwyer’s assertion that the delay in appointing a US ambassador to Ireland is a ‘slap in the face’.
‘We’re not the only country affected by hold-ups. It’s inappropriate to think like that (like O’Dwyer)’.
The Ireland-US Council for Commerce and Industry was founded in 1963. It aims to build business links between America and Ireland.
Its Irish chapter is based in Ballsbridge.