People of Carlingford celebrate Biden’s election as US President
The people of Carlingford came out in force yesterday with a special parade to mark the election of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America.
The new President-elect has roots in the area and has visited the North Louth village on a couple of occasions in recent years.
Biden’s great grandfather was James Finnegan from the peninsula, born around 1845 and died in 1895 in Pennsylvania. His great grandmother Catherine Roche was also from Co Louth.
He visited the area in June 2016 in his position as Barack Obama’s Vice President before returning to Lily Finnegan’s pub in Whitestown in September 2017. On his initial visit with his brother, sister, children and grandchildren, Mr Biden received the Freedom of Louth.
On Sunday the Carlingford pipe band played a special new anthem called Our Local Joe, as residents gathered in the town.
The president-elect’s distant cousins – the Finnegans – live in the town and were part of the celebrations.
John Owen Finnegan said he wished Mr Biden “all the best and the best of health in his new post” and said “we’d like to see him back in the near future.”
Local Councillor Andrea McKevitt, another distant cousin of Mr Biden, said the atmosphere in the village was “truly magical”.
“When he got elected, everyone was so ecstatic and we are so proud of cousin Joe,” she said.
Four years ago, Mr Biden visited Carlingford and said he hoped he would return as president one day.
He told a secret serviceman, unsure of where he was: “Man, you’re in heaven”.
Mr Biden has frequently said that his Irish heritage is of great importance to him.
Sunday’s festivities were organised by the Irish for Biden organisation, which encouraged Irish people with relatives in the US to lobby for Mr Biden.
Paul Allen, from the group, said they were “overjoyed” by the result of their campaign.
“There has probably been no other president in US history that takes a greater in pride in their heritage than Joe Biden,” he said.
“There is no doubt that Ireland now has at least two listening ears in the White House, and the potential for this is enormous, from improved relationships, US companies in Ireland, undocumented Irish, Brexit and co-operation on international policy.
“As Joe himself said – ‘Northeast Pennsylvania will be written on my heart but Ireland will be written on my soul.”