Biden celebrates Mayo Day with a touching letter to the county
US President Joe Biden released a letter to celebrate Mayo Day and honor his own county ancestors.
In an open letter, Mr Biden wished everyone celebrating a “céad míle fáilte” and said “the places we come from are the places that shape us, rise in our hearts and never leave us”. .
“From the cliffs of Downpatrick Head in the wild Atlantic to the view of Clew Bay atop Croagh Patrick, the beauty of County Mayo is matched only by the generosity and kindness of its people – a kindness I I felt during my visit a few years ago. and reconnected with my Irish family.
“The heart and spirit from Castlebar to Westport to Crossmolina and every town in between makes us who we are. And they remind us that we are all connected through our homes.
“Being Irish – as my mum always told me – is about family, faith and the belief that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. As we celebrate Mayo Day, may- we will continue to be proud of all the ways County Mayo has shaped us,” the chairman concluded.
Edward Blewitt, Mr Biden’s great-great-great-grandfather, grew up in Ballina and ran away during An Gorta Mór (the Great Famine). Like many Irish Americans, it was a trauma the Biden family carried with them for generations and profoundly influenced the president’s thinking on politics.
“When my great-grandfather got on a coffin boat in the Irish Sea, it was expected that he would live on that boat long enough to get to the United States of America.
“But they left because of what the British had done – they were in real trouble, they didn’t want to leave but they had no choice.
“I can’t guarantee we’ll fix everything, but I can guarantee we can make everything better,” President Biden asked of the people who risked their lives to cross the US southern border.
As vice president, Joe Biden visited Mayo in 2016 and again in 2017 after leaving office; his distant cousins still live there and are very proud of his political career.
“I’m sure he’s quite thrilled about it – I know we are anyway,” Laurita Blewitt in 2020 after her first election.
“We are delighted to have this relationship with him, and this friendship has been very strong for the past few years.
“He’s been very resilient and we’ve seen that over the last two months against all of his competitors in the Democratic race.”
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said he wants to return to Ireland now that he is Commander-in-Chief, but no details have been finalized.
Main image: President Joe Biden participates in a virtual bilateral meeting with Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Micheal Martin on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)