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I didn't renounce Ireland, says Dana

DANA Rosemary Scallon has said she cannot remember taking an oath renouncing allegiance to Ireland when she became a US citizen.

Dana insisted that being a US citizen did not disqualify her from becoming president of Ireland -- and said Eamon De Valera was an American citizen.

She denied a claim made by her sister Stella during a family legal dispute that she kept her US citizenship a secret while contesting the 1997 Irish presidential election.

Her sister made the secrecy claim during a fraught legal row in 2008 in the US during a court fight over some of the Irish singer's religious recordings.

Dana, who has come last in opinion polls of support for presidential candidates, said she never kept her US citizenship a secret.

She became a US citizen shortly before the 1997 election.

People becoming naturalised US citizens take an oath renouncing their allegiances to all other countries. Dana said she could not remember taking the oath.

She said she was assured she could retain her Irish citizenship when she took out US citizenship. She said she would never have become a US citizen if she had to give up her Irish citizenship. She only votes in Ireland, not in America.



CITIZEN

Dana had developed a successful career in the US as a singer and as a host of religious television programmes in the 1990s.

Her sister Stella Stein told a court in Iowa that she had travelled to Ireland in 1997 to work on Dana's election campaign. She claimed that she had a meeting then with Dana's husband Damien and Dana's brother John and they had concluded it would not look good if the people of Ireland knew she was a US citizen.

aokeeffe@herald.ie