THE IRISH IMMIGRATION SERVICE, in an act which many believe is an arm of "a bureaucracy gone mad," has refused leave to land to an American university educator and Google scholar who had intended to earn a PhD as an international student on his international fees-paid enrollment-approved entry to University College Cork in Ireland. Keola Donaghy, a knowledge worker who some readers may recognise as the Hawaiian who hoped to attend Podcamp Ireland, where he was invited by third level educators to provide an international dimension to the creative event in Kilkenny, was the subject of a 13-minute segment [9.1 MB 96 kbps MP3 file] at KCLR 96FM today. At the same time of the interview, Ireland's Minister for Education Mary Hanafin was playing drums at the official opening of the Cork School of Music. The issue around Donaghy's case, though nuanced with all the fog surrounding the special status enjoyed by immigration officers around the world, distills to one simple nugget in my eyes: the ceding of cultural, education, enterprise development and humanitarian policies to the best judgment of the personnel manning the passport control desk. In many cases that I have personally observed in travels that have landed me in airports on six continents, things can get messy, distorted and totally obfuscated by the behavior of well-meaning personnel manning the checkpoints. As the 13-minute radio clip suggests, we need joined-up thinking in matter of Irish immigration if Ireland intends to advance its knowledge economy. It is imperative for the Secretary Generals from Education, Justice and Arts to efficiently tackle the disarray that exists in the area of international research conducted in the Republic of Ireland. The spoiler role of the Department of Justice should be examined carefully by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Science as soon as it has been reconstituted. As David McWilliams told the Late Late Show tonight, many Argentinians of Irish descent would fail to get permission to remain in Ireland. Yet those same Irish-Argentinians are part of a gene pool that Ireland has culled to develop its football and rugby teams. As an Irish taxpayer, I think it is time to revisit the phrase "Land of One Hundred Thousand Welcomes" because it might no longer apply to 21st century Ireland.
The audio clip attached to this post was recorded at my feet in my car and the audio background reflects the ambient environment.