Irish-Americans growing 'distant' from Ireland

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Former president of the Coca-Cola corporation Donald Keough has warned that Ireland is becoming more "mentally distant" for Irish-Americans and may have to consider a looser, Israeli-type citizenship test for people of Irish origin.

Mr Keough, who is also the former chairman of Columbia Pictures, said the world's focus on a successful, peaceful Ireland is waning.

"The global white light of attention is finding new stages in eastern Europe, Brazil, China and India," he said, adding that Irish-Americans, in particular, view Ireland as more mentally distant with each passing generation.

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