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Leisure : April 1st Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Town Council in Diplomatic Coup
By Avril Premiere (NY Correspondent)
1, Apr 2003 - 00:00

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The annual migration of Irish town and county councillors to the United States once again raised the usual jeers from the ungrateful citizenry left behind to mind the shop. This year, however, the Castlebar delegation to New York had a more noble purpose in mind. The visit of Castlebar Town Council to Peekskill and New York was covered here in the Castlebar.News as in previous years. Among those visiting were Mr Kieran Gavin, Mr Pat King and Michael Kilcoyne. The visit was ostensibly to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and to march in the New York Parade on St. Patrick’s Day. Of course the town councillors normally earn their trip by promoting Castlebar and Mayo as a destination for American Tourists. This year they did just that but in a much more dramatic way than normal.

Things were indeed a little different to the normal Patricks Day junket. Instead of attending the usual social whirl of parties and banqueting, lifting pints and popping beer nuts, the Castlebar delegation undertook secret negotiations with some very highly placed US politicians. Kieran, Michael and Pat undertook significant negotiations aimed at preventing George Bush from venting his anger at the West of Ireland over the Shannon Issue. Former mayor Rudy Giuliani, the current Governor of NY State, Governor George E Pataki, and Senator Hillary Clinton were also involved in the negotiations. Our exclusive photographs taken by Dalemedia with a secret camera caught the parties unaware as they emerged from these crucial but secret discussions.

We can now reveal that GW Bush had gone to code orange in his plan to remove Shannon and Knock airport from all maps that are now being issued by Homeland Security to American Tourists about to visit Ireland. Under the recently enacted Patriot Act the West of Ireland was to join Syria, Jordan, Iran and N Korea as a region of less favoured status due to attacks on US military aircraft at Shannon and the intransigence of the Irish Government concerning Shannon and the highly secret Knock refuelling. We have learned that, contrary to appearances, Mr Ahern is totally against war and the use of Irish airports for the bombing of Iraq. The Castlebar delegation, however, were able to act as go-betweens and following urgent discussions with the Taoiseach they were able to broker a deal through the good offices of Rudy and Hillary. This was quite a delicate process, obviously, as GW Bush does not suffer Democrats lightly.

Whatever about members of Fianna Fail (the Republican Party), when it came to socialist labour politicians such as Mr Kilcoyne, however, it was a different matter. It was clear that if it had been leaked to the US President’s negotiating team that Mr Kilcoyne was supporting strikers at a major New York City Hotel all would be lost. He was also rumoured to be about to start a strike of Car Park Attendants throughout the state of New York before returning to Ireland. It had become obvious to him that US car park attendants were seriously underpaid in comparison with his Trade Union member car park attendants in Castlebar. Mr Kilcoyne said that he would brook no barriers to their right to a good living. He had just the ticket to sort them out.

The political situation on that crucial eve of the Iraq war, however, was a bit too fraught to introduce radical socialism to GW Bush. This is where the master stroke of allowing former ‘Republican Party’ Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Urban District Council Mr Kieran Gavin and former royal incumbent of the position of first ‘Mayor’ of Castlebar, Mr Pat King, to negotiate directly with the Bush camp.

So, after a few pints with a Mr Ashcroft and a Mr Perle two of the US President’s senior advisors the boys succeeded in improving the geopolitical climate for the West of Ireland. The final upshot was that Knock and Shannon would remain on the US tourists maps! In truth this  was a major diplomatic triumph for Castlebar Town Council which Noel Dorr would have been proud of! It is believed that the subsequent resignation of Mr Perle from Bush's War Cabinet had nothing to do with the visit of the Castlebar Town Councillors to New York!

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