The Irish tourism industry is promoting the whole cead mile failte business during this most Irish of seasons. Plenty of good deals, you're all very welcome from America and Europe and Asia.
Welcome, yes, but don't think the neighbors aren't aware of the strangers in their midst.
Ireland's population is, by and large, pale of complexion. Excepting the black Irish, of course, but they're only on the swarthy side. And they tend to be rather hairy. But they look Irish. They blend in with the crowds.
The seven jihadists who were arrested might have felt welcome in Ireland. The purported ringleader was said to have arrived from Algeria about ten years ago and had quietly resided without drawing attention. Don't imagine for a minute that the native born locals weren't aware of the presence of a foreigner in their neighborhood.
So many black faces on the streets. I've heard that muttered many a time, the tone not filled with cead mile failte at all. So many Polish, so many strangers, there's no room for us Irish. The newly arrived from Croatia, Libya and Palestine could never blend in with the crowd.
Neither could a blond-haired Yank lacking the less-than-chiseled features of a potato-eating populace. The gardai have reason to believe that Jihad Jane spent some time on Irish soil during a recruitment drive. Just the fact that Americans are presumed to have plenty of money to throw around, she didn't stand a chance of not being noticed.
Maybe in Dublin there is more diversity, but the would-be assassins set up shop in Waterford and Cork, where the local mindset is a bit more insular. Grannies up and down the streets where they lived would have been aware of their comings and goings, of how many cars parked in the road near their flats or how many other strangers came to their doors.
Welcome to Ireland, but the gardai in the station probably know you're there from the minute you arrived. Gossip travels fast.