Arthur had been set to join his old partners, the Furey Brothers, for the U.S. leg of the group’s 25th anniversary tour last month. But he was stopped in his tracks when he arrived at the U.S. embassy in Dublin to lay hands on a temporary working visa.
While Arthur’s pedigree is widely known in the musical world, his name raised eyebrows at the embassy for very different reasons.
Arthur’s name closely matched that of a David Arthur wanted by federal law enforcement authorities.
Arthur, the singer, was not given a middle name by his parents and could not present one to distinguish himself from the wanted Arthur when he sat for his visa interview. The visa was denied as a result, but Arthur, who has performed before U.S. presidents, was told that his way could be cleared for travel if he submitted himself to full fingerprinting.
This he did in a subsequent visit to the embassy in Ballsbridge.
Confirmation that Davey Arthur was not the wanted David Arthur took a couple of weeks to confirm. And that was quick. Sometimes it can take several months for fingerprint results to be returned to a U.S. diplomatic outpost.
Even so, the results in Davey Arthur’s case came too late as the Furey Brothers tour, minus Arthur, wound up a couple of weeks ago.
Confirmation that Arthur was not in fact heading for “America’s Most Wanted,” came last week from the office of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.
Schumer was one of several U.S. politicians who had intervened on Arthur’s behalf when news of the visa snafu surfaced. His office contacted the embassy in Dublin “multiple times” and was also in touch with the FBI in an effort to “quickly finalize its due diligence” in the matter of Arthur’s fingerprints, a spokesman said.
The phone calls may well have helped. But Arthur’s manager in Ireland, Joe McCadden, was still waiting this week for final confirmation from the embassy that Davey Arthur’s face was bound for a concert promotion poster, and not the wanted kind.
“We haven’t heard on this side yet that the all clear for Davey has come through,” McCadden said this week. “The embassy said they would call us, but they have yet to contact us.”
McCadden said that Arthur would not return to the embassy for another visa interview until he was sure the visit would bear fruit.
“We’re not going back until we get the word,” McCadden said.
McCadden said that the now anticipated visa would be good for a year and it was possible that the Fureys and Davey Arthur would be able to return to the U.S. next March.