"Everyone is delighted" - Carlingford celebrates Joe Biden's US election win

ireland
Carlingford celebrated Joe Biden's US election victory. Pic: @CarlingfordIRE
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James Cox

A celebration was held in Carlingford, Co Louth today to mark Joe Biden's US presidential election victory.

The socially-distanced event was organised by the Irish For Biden Campaign and locals who were delighted to see Mr Biden, whose ancestry can be traced back to the area, claim the historic result.

It included a performance of a new piece of music, 'Ode to Local Joe', written by the Carlingford Pipe Band in honour of Mr Biden's win.

Louth Fine Gael Senator John McGahon told BreakingNews.ie that locals were "absolutely delighted" that Mr Biden, who visited the area four years ago, is set to become the 46th president of the United States.

He said there was a "wonderful atmosphere", adding that it had lifted spirits in the area amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

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"It was a really great way to express everyone's joy that Joe Biden has won the presidency.

"Even when Joe Biden came here four years ago, his family grave is there in one of the cemeteries in north Louth. People are just delighted about it. It's great to have some good news in the Covid era that we find ourselves living in.

"The Carlingford Pipe Band are a brilliant group. It's a medieval village and the pipe band added a lot to the atmospheric joy and sense of the occasion.

"Joe's great-great grandfather Owen Finnegan was born in Templetown on the Cooley Peninsula in 1814. He arrived in New York on May 31st, 1849 and he was followed over the following year by his wife Jane and their children," he explained. "It's really incredible that the president elect of the United States' great-great grandfather left Carlingford Harbour in 1849 and all of these years later an ancestor of his is elected to the most powerful position in the world."

Paul Allen, the organiser of Irish For Biden, previously told BreakingNews.ie that Mr Biden was "blown away" by the Cooley Peninsula during his 2016 visit.

"One of the best moments was when one of the secret service agents said to me, 'where the hell are we?', as we got out of the car in this kind of narrow, boreen place.

"Behind me Biden shouts, 'we're in heaven, man!' He was blown away by the place."

Mr McGahon revealed he has already written to Mr Biden to invite him back to Co Louth.

He has a real affinity to the area and the local people here have a real affinity to him.

"I actually wrote to the president-elect yesterday inviting him back to Carlingford. I fully accept how much he has on his plate but it would be really wonderful to have him back in north Louth at some stage during his presidency.

"He came here in 2016 when he was vice-president and spent over two days in Louth. He has a real affinity to the area and the local people here have a real affinity to him.

"I wrote that letter and sent if off to his campaign email yesterday, it would be great to see him back at some stage during his presidency. I wouldn't expect to see that any time soon with the pandemic but it would be great to see him here when the world returns to normality."

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Mr McGahon said locals were happy to do their part in the Irish For Biden campaign.

"The Irish For Biden campaign was really well run. When you look at Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan, three key states and there's only about 80,000 votes between those crucial battleground states that gave Joe Biden a win. I've absolutely no doubt that the campaign would have certainly played a role in making sure that people voted in what was the highest turnout in the history of American presidential elections."

Mr McGahon also spoke about what a Biden presidency will mean for Ireland.

"For the first time since John F Kennedy, we have a real Irish American in the White House. I know you can trace some Irish ancestry back to most presidents but JFK was an iconic Irish American president and now we have another iconic Irish American president in the form of Joe Biden.

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"He is quite clearly an Irish American, he holds his ancestry and his heritage in Ireland dearly and we can see that in the viral video of him telling the BBC reporter, 'I'm Irish'."

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"I think it will be great to have a president with such strong links to Ireland, particularly when we enter Brexit negotiations. I've no doubt now that the White House has our back and will ensure that the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement is upheld at every stage of Brexit negotiations.

"He's a real friend to Ireland."

 

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