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Joe Biden’s Irish roots cast a shadow over London

Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election barely proclaimed by mainstream American media, congratulatory messages from Western leaders are pouring in. On Twitter, a short video clip made the buzz between London and Dublin. This November 7, we see the Democratic candidate surrounded by journalists. A British reporter tries to get his attention: “It’s the BBC! “” The BBC? answers with a smile the former vice-president of Barack Obama. I am Irish ! “ The streak was taken as a blow to the British. On the contrary, it made the Irish roar with pleasure. This success from Biden allows them to take revenge on the United Kingdom, at a time when Brexit comes a little more complicating the relations between the two entities.

The Irish press has widely echoed the existence of Joe Blewitt, a distant cousin of Joe Biden, a plumber by profession and a native of Ballina, a large agricultural village in County Mayo (north-west of the Republic). The jovial forty-something campaigned at her way for his cousin, with a big sticker stuck on the sides of his utility vehicle: “Joe Biden for the White House, Joe Blewitt for your house” (“Joe Biden in the White House, Joe Blewitt for [réparer] your house “).

Joe Biden’s Irish roots cast a shadow over London

He slashed the champagne, on the evening of November 7, at the foot of the family house, surrounded by other inhabitants of Ballina, all ready to unroll the “green carpet” (national color of the island requires) in the hope of ” a visit to 46e President of the United States.

35 million Irish in the United States

The list of American leaders with Irish roots are long, from John Fitzgerald Kennedy to Richard Nixon, including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush senior and junior, Bill Clinton, and even Barack Obama (through his great-great-great-grandfather on the maternal side). But it is true that Joe Biden seems particularly proud of this heritage. Before a first visit to Ballina, in 2016, this devout Catholic wrote a letter, unearthed in recent days by the Irish media, in which he quoted James Joyce: “When I die, Dublin will be inscribed on my heart. “

“After Biden’s election, Ireland could serve as a bridge between Washington and the European Union. »Bobby McDonagh, Irish diplomat

Joe Biden’s great-great-great-grandfather Edward Blewitt, a civil engineer by profession, left Ballina for America 170 years ago, fleeing the terrible famine of the 1850s. memory of this tragedy, which caused the death of nearly 1 million Irish, remains alive on the island, where almost all the towns have a museum or a memorial dedicated to this page of history. It is often recalled that, at At the time, the growing British Empire did little to help.

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