Person 1: Have you heard the good news?
Person 2: No, but good would be a change. What is it?
Person 1: Emma de Souza has defied and defeated the British Home Office insistence that she must renounce her British citizenship before being able to claim Irish and EU citizenship.
Person 2: Good for her. Why did she particularly want that recognition of Irishness and EU-ness?
Person 1: It’s all part of her effort to get her US-born husband Jake de Souza residence rights. Emma herself is a Derry girl.
Person 2: Performs on TV, does she?
Person 1: More in court, actually.
Person 2: How did she swing the decision in her favour – and, in consequence, in favour of hubby Jake?
Person 1: She argued that the Good Friday Agreement recognises the right of people in the north to identify as Irish, British or both.
Person 2: These Derry ones – smart isn’t the word for them. But I have a problem.
Person 1: We all have. What’s yours?
Person 2: Who’s her MEP?
Person 1: I should think the formidable Martina Anderson. Although she’s not an MEP any more, since the UK has left the EU.
Person 2: So who is?
Person 1: Who is what?
Person 2: You said Emma de Souza from Derry had won recognition of her Irish citizen/EU rights. Martina would represent her Irish bit, as I hear Martina has shifted from Brussels to Stormont. So who is representing the rights of Emma and all the people here in the north who claim Irish and EU citizenship?
Person 1: Er , um.
Person 2: Speak up – and take your hand from in front of your mouth. Who is MEP representing Emma and all the other Irish/EU people in the north?
Person 1: Um, nobody, really.
Person 2: So Emma is an EU citizen yet she doesn’t have the fundamental right to representation in the Brussels parliament?
Person 1: She has the right.
Person 2: As has every EU citizen in the north.
Person 1: Emma and tens of thousands of others are Irish and EU citizens, but alas – they don’t get represented in Brussels or in Dublin.
Person 2: Isn’t that a pretty empty sort of citizenship, then?
Person 1: Mmm. Never thought of it like that. Must check if Leo has been pressing for an end to this absurd situation. How as you say can they be seen as Irish and EU citizens, without representation?
Person 2: I spot a catch.
Person 1: Which is?
Person 2: That if Leo started shouting about justice demanding representation for ALL EU citizens, then –
Person 1: – Then the same people might start asking how they are Irish citizens and not represented in the Dáil.
Person 2: Precisely. It often strikes me how few people who go on about rights never seem to bother about this one.
Person 1: Maybe they will now, with you as their champion.
Person 2: Maybe. But not likely. In fact, 100-1 nobody will raise a squeak that we’re sad little citizens who don’t have voting rights in Dublin or in Brussels.
Person 1: Makes you wonder if people care about human rights at all.
Person 2: You may wonder. My wonder turned into certainty that they don’t, ages ago.
Person 1: Well, I’ve enjoyed our little chat.
Person 2: Enjoyed might be a bit much. More sadder-but-wiser is my take on it.
Person 1: I feel your pain.
Person 2: As do I. Slán go foil.
Person 1: Agus tú feín