It has emerged that Independent presidential candidate Dana Rosemary Scallon has been an American citizen since the late 1990s.
In 2008 Scallon’s sister, Susan Stein, told a court in Iowa that Dana had become a US citizen prior to her previous presidential campaign in 1997. Stein maintains that this fact was not disclosed at the time as it “wouldn’t look very good” for a potential first citizen of one country to hold allegiance to another. The comments were made during a family legal battle concerning ownership of some of the former Eurovision winner’s recordings.
Speaking today on RTÉ’s News at One, Ms Scallon expressed anger at the media for bringing a family disagreement into the public sphere, calling it “a new low”. She denied covering up her US citizenship saying she simply never mentioned it as she was never asked about it. She also claims to have not become an American citizenship until 1999, contrary to her sister’s comments.
Individuals who become US citizens are required to take an oath renouncing their allegiance to “any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty”. However, Ms Scallon claims that the official who was present as she signed her citizenship forms assured her that she did not have to renounce her Irish citizenship and could instead hold dual-citizenship.
In a somewhat ironic twist, Ms Scallon’s campaign slogan is ‘Putting Ireland first’ – perhaps something she cannot technically do.