New Release: Shenanigans: The US-Ireland Relationship in Uncertain Times by Trina Vargo

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As Senator Ted Kennedy’s foreign policy adviser, Trina Vargo was instrumental in the controversial effort to convince President Clinton to grant a travel visa to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams—a crucial step in the Northern Ireland peace process. Vargo served as the Irish-issues adviser to every Democratic presidential campaign from Dukakis through Obama.

She founded the US-Ireland Alliance and the prestigious George J. Mitchell Scholarship program, which introduces future American leaders to the island of Ireland. And she created the annual Oscar Wilde Awards to bring together creatives in the field of entertainment.Vargo has navigated the corridors of power in Ireland and the United States, experiencing first-hand the deep affection each country holds for the other. She has also seen valuable opportunities squandered—and sabotaged—by those on both sides of the Atlantic who jealously defend their turf against imaginative ideas.

Vargo became part of the Clintons’ “enemies list” as a result of her work on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. She has been attacked by a vocal, but determined, few as a result of a truth-to-power opinion piece on immigration, and a member of the Irish parliament demanded she be hauled before the body’s Foreign Affairs Committee. She even had to battle the Irish Film Board in her efforts that resulted in J.J. Abrams filming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in Ireland.

Vargo passionately believes the US-Ireland relationship needs to evolve and to survive. This page turning memoir gives an unvarnished account of the challenges and poses serious questions about the future of the relationship that should be carefully considered by anyone who cares deeply about both countries.