The threat to the prestigious George J Mitchell Scholarship programme which allows future American leaders to do post-graduate studies in Ireland must be resisted.
This programme - for a relatively small amount of money - creates a ripple effect among influential people on both sides of the Atlantic. The post-graduate scholars bring other fee-paying students from the US to Ireland and afterwards both sides spread the good news about each other. The Department of State in the US is threatening to withdraw funding from the programme but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be lobbied to retain the scholarships. Surely Ireland and the US can easily endow the programme - a mere $500,000 a year - given its influential outcomes. This is not about hand-outs but about working for mutual benefit.