Joe Biden elected the 46th President of the United States, ancestral home Ireland celebrates his victory

Joe Biden is somewhat removed from his great-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grandfather 's Irish town nearly 200 years ago, but that doesn't stop Ballina from celebrating his presidential victory.

In anticipation, the town in County Mayo, about 145 miles (235 kilometers) northwest of Dublin, has been draped in the Stars and Stripes and Biden / Harris banners for days, even though many companies had to close because of lockdown restrictions.

Joe Blewitt, a heating and plumbing engineer and a cousin of Biden's, said the town of about 10,000 is ecstatic at the prospect of a President Joe Biden.

Blewitt said, "Now they're going to be President of the United States, they're delighted, they're absolutely delighted." "To think that one of their own is one of the world's most powerful men."

Blewitt, who was invited to the White House in 2017 when President Barack Obama's Congressional Medal of Honor was awarded to Biden, said he hopes to be able to do it again in January for the inauguration.

Blewitt says that the couple is also in regular contact: "He's a really nice fella." He is good to speak to.

When he was in his final few months as vice president, Biden, who visited Ballina in June 2016, promised to visit again if he were to prevail over Trump.

Edward Blewitt, Biden's great-grand-grandfather, emigrated from the city, having worked as a brick-maker and as a civil engineer who helped map Ireland. In Ireland, ten of Biden's 16 great-grandparents were also born.

For Beryl McCrainey Slevin, a California native who has lived in Ballina for over 15 years, Biden's victory was particularly sweet.

Her hope is that, after a divisive four years under Trump, Biden will be able to reunite her homeland.

"I hope we can really work on building alliances with everyone in the country after this election," she said. "We are all American and America's ideals are so important around the world that I think it's really important that we come together as a nation once again and continue the work of building the American dream for all."

She also expressed her hope that Biden would "bring dignity back" to the White House and help heal the racial problems that afflict the United States.

"I also feel very strongly that Joe Biden is in a position now that he is prepared to nationally make serious justice reform, police reform", she said.

The possibility of a Joe Biden plaza in Ballina, similar to the one built-in Moneygall in honor of Barack Obama when he visited his own ancestral home in southeast Ireland, is not ruled out by Cousin Blewitt.

One of the first leaders to congratulate Biden on his victory was Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, which is a clear sign of how much Biden's victory means to the country.

"Throughout his life, Joe Biden has been a true friend of this nation and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead," he said in a tweet. "I am also looking forward to welcoming him back home when the conditions permit."


Publish : 2020-11-08 09:04:00

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