Chicago novelist and journalist Bonnie Greer, who has lived in the UK since 1986, has expressed her surprise at the response in Ireland to her Question Time appearance on BBC One last week.
The 70-year old American-British playwright, novelist, critic and broadcaster of African American heritage, became a social media celebrity after people praised her robust defence of Ireland’s Brexit position on its border.
She told the audience that Ireland owes the UK no concessions on Brexit.
She also said that coming from Chicago she was well aware of the strength of the Irish lobby there and certain it would veto any UK-US trade bill if there is a return to a hard border in Northern Ireland.
The writer said she had since received a wave of support from Ireland.
“I think I’ve been invited to every town and city in Ireland and I’m very grateful, it’s amazing. I don’t know what to say. I thought I said something that everybody knew,” she told RTE Radio 1.
“I think a lot of British people, the people who responded to me, were fairly astonished.”
“The Good Friday Agreement, in spite of its rather benign name … is a truce,” she said.
“And it’s a truce because the United States of America and the EU sat down with this country to make it happen. We have to be much more serious about this.”
Ms Greer added: “The United States is Irish. If anyone thinks that they’re going to get a deal through and have a trade relationship with the United States that shafts Ireland, you’ve got another thing coming. It’s not going to happen.
“I’m from Chicago, that’s where I was born. Do you know what we do on St Patrick’s Day? We dye the river green. People are very serious about Ireland in the US. Don’t mess with it. Don’t make it look bad.”
Irish International Business Network (IIBN) announced this week that Greer will be joining them as speaker at their Annual Conference in Westminster on November 8th.