KILKENNY -- All the Irish newspapers lead with the resurrection of Nigerian student Olunkunle Elunkanlo from Lagos and if the feeding frenzy continues, his arrival in Dublin Airport next week will receive column inches that could benefit the cases of dozens of others deported by the efficient Irish immigration system. This case has united politicians across party lines against heartless policies regarding the treatment of some of the least fortunate in society. It's as though some government ministers have no appreciation of the turmoil endured on a daily basis when living as a guest in another country. It's a turmoil passed down as stories among my Irish, German and Russian forebears in the States and the root of an important message that I learned as a pre-teen--be kind to those in need. That premise could not underpin a government's policy regarding asylum seekers where draconian measures and an air of omniscience seem to be the order of the day. [DISCLOSURE: I have been refused leave to land in Ireland before and benefit from a first-hand viewpoint of the process entailed in punting people out of the country.]
Perhaps the best insight about the Nigerian student's readmission to Ireland comes from Twenty Major.
Is it just a big PR stunt? Let's face it, McDowell couldn't give a rat's arse about Kunle or any of the others he deported. And why should he? The rules are the rules and for every happy little Nigerian like Kunle there are 20 more involved in scams, bank machine cloning, credit card cloning, sending emails pretending to be a high Priest with €34,095,450 hidden away in a secret bank account and playing football for West Brom.
Still, I saw the news last night and they interviewed Kunle on the phone who expressed his delight at being allowed back - on a 6 month temporary visa at which point he'll be deported again but this time he'll have his leaving certificate which will no doubt open many doors on the mean streets of Lagos. Anyway, listening to him and then listening to some of his classmates talk outside their school in Palmerstown it struck me that letting him back might not be the worst thing in the world. He might teach a couple of them how to talk English.
There was one big fat girl interviewed whose grasp of the English language was as good as her grasp of not being a gluttonous pig. "Yeah, loike, we's all dead happy, loike, dat he can, y'know, come back an' all, coz, loike it wudda after been brutal if he'd a stayed in Nigeria an' all. Y'know?'
There are fucking Chinese immigrants who've only been in the country three hours, who have never spoken or listened to English, who could speak better than this lot.
I think McDowell let your man back just so he would't have to hear these cretins savage the English language in public anymore. Anyway, the main point is wouldn't it be a laugh if Kunle failed every single exam?
Tom Murphy's blog is three years old. The longest-standing regularly updated Irish blog first illuminated the world of syndicated news three years ago. Although Sean McGrath might have preceded NatterjackPR, Tom has stuck with the same architecture longer than anyone in the Irish blogosphere. That means his archives are the most durable and that his readership the most loyal.
David D'Arcy on deck. David D'Arcy, the well-respected former editor of Computerscope poses on the back page of "Money&Jobs" in the Irish Examiner along with an article about Hill&Knowlton, the PR firm he joined last month. D'Arcy's career plans diverged from pure journalism following some turbulence that emerged on the heels of union action by writers in Glasnevin. Simply said, a PR firm can pay more than a publishing house.
McDowell's sneaky data law. Karlin Lillington definitely falls off Michael McDowell's Christmas card list after writing about the sneaky tactcs employed by the Irish Minister for Justice in bringing a last minute amendment to a Bill debated by an empty Dail. I wish Karlin would blog about this thing because her commentary would generate a measureable metric among bloggers that would ultimately register on the media-savvy politicians.
Sherrifs own e-voting warehouses. Liam Reid and Barry Roche from The Irish Times report "the two State officials responsible elections in Cork city and county (own) ... the two facilities that the State is renting to store electronic voting machines in the region." Storage costs run €16,000 annually for 460 machines in Cork and €50,000 annually for storing fewer machines in Waterford, home county for the minister who saw Irish e-voting tossed from the election process last year.
Dowling crucified on Ha'penny. Artist Gerard Dowling is shown on the backpage of the Irish Examiner on a cross mounted on Dublin's Ha'penny Bridge.
Rise of online gambling. Matthew Lynn's piece from Bloomberg resurfaces in the Irish Examiner two weeks after I surveyed transition year students from County Offaly about their browsing preferences. Online poker sites figured among the top three responses across 18 students surveyed. The investors in online gambling sites would appreciate that.
Under the long tail. Danny O'Brien writes about "making the most out of niche needs" in The Irish Times which is the same point I make in my Friday column in the Irish Examiner. We're both reading the long tail analysis on Joe Kraus' weblog.
Siemens Gigaset. The newest Gigasets feature internet-enabled cordless capability. That's a CeBIT snippet noted by Mark Twomey in the Irish Examiner.
Paul O'Brien -- "McDowell in deportation climbdown" on the front page of Irish Examiner, March 25, 2005.
Paul Cullen -- "Nigerian student to be allowed to remain indefinitely" on the front page of The Irish Times, March 25, 2005.
Janine Dalton -- "The Leaving"
Laura -- "controversy"
Jon Ihle -- "invisible immigrants"
20M -- "Kunle the Nigerian student"