Worldwide access to the internet means squabbles over domestic issues no longer stop at water's edge.
Early the afternoon of Friday, 13 March 2015, Georgia Unfiltered ran a story promoting the 133rd annual Atlanta St. Patrick's Parade.
Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, is being honored as this year's Atlanta St. Pats Parade Grand Marshal.
Within minutes of our story about Taoiseach Kenny leading the 2015 Atlanta St. Pats Parade appearing online, our email inbox and Facebook fan page were filled with comments from Irish citizens appalled that Atlanta would celebrate a man many in Ireland view with extreme revulsion.
"Do the people of Atlanta realize that Enda Kenny is the most despised politician in the history or our little island nation," Clonsilla, Ireland resident Pol Ó Muireadhaigh asked. "He has overseen 4 years of austerity measures that have destroyed the working class and enriched himself, his friends in government and BIG business."
"He is not worthy of leading an Irish parade. He can't lead the Irish people. He has only led them to ruin and laughs at their misery every day," wrote Annmarie Folan of Galway, Ireland.
That is just a sample of the words posted on the Georgia Unfiltered Facebook fan page. You can read more of the comments below:
The anti-Enda Kenny reaction exhibited online forced us to research the issue further, and we were shocked to learn more the 150,000 Irish citizens protested Mr. Kenny's policies [Hickey and Kelleher (3 November 2014). Water protests: From a torrent to a tsunami - the anger that will not subside. Irish Examiner. Retrieved on 13 March 2015.].
In addition, Mr. Kenny was accused by opposition parties of doing nothing to address Ireland's homelessness problem after a man died on the front steps of the Irish legislature [Carroll (1 December 2014). Homeless man found dead near Dáil Éireann. Irish Times. Retrieved on 13 March 2015.].
This is news we rarely get here in the United States due to our society's over-emphasis of superficial news such as what Kim Kardashian wore at the Oscars. And we are extremely grateful for the Irish people who brought this to our attention.
All doubt that Taoiseach Enda Kenny is a polarizing figure has been erased in our opinion.
Kenny's participation in Saturday's event raises questions about why the Atlanta St. Patrick's Parade organizers were not more attuned to the situation on the ground back in the old country, before extending an invitation to the Taoiseach.
The people of Ireland are angry, and Atlanta is only stoking that anger with its honoring of Enda Kenny.