PRESDENT BARACK OBAMA’S nominee for the US ambassador to Ireland was in front of the Senate Foreign Relations committee for his confirmation hearing today.
The Irish-American lawyer, Kevin O’Malley, from St. Louis, Missouri was quizzed on his views on a number of matters.
Northern Ireland was one of the main concerns of the committee, with matters such as the Boston College tapes and the arrest of Gerry Adams being raised. There were concerns that there may be a move backward in terms of progress in Northern Ireland, however, O’Malley said that this would be a priority for him if he succeeds in becoming the next US ambassador to Ireland.
He said that he is looking forard to meeting all parties involved adding that he would like to see everyone “get back to the table” and for the Haas proposals to be adopted.
He said there needed to be “a comprehensive and cohesive way to deal with these very troubling, emotional issues”.
He was also asked about Ireland’s economy and austerity measures.
O’Malley said that he believed that Ireland was still very committed to Europe and getting the country back on track, adding that he was eager to meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny on these matters.
Ireland’s tax regime was also a topic of discussion. He commented that American companies set up in Ireland for many reasons and that the tax regime was not the reason alone.
The next stage is that his nomination will go forward to the floor of the Senate.