Ten of the former vice president’s 16 great-grandparents were born in Ireland, under the Irish campaign for Biden, with Biden’s great-grandfather Edward Blewitt providing Ballina connectivity.
On Saturday, when CNN predicted Biden’s White House victory, the people of Ballina took to the streets to celebrate the success of their distant relative.
“I think Ballina saved the world tonight, because without Ballina, there wouldn’t be Joe Biden,” Smiler Mitchell, a local citizen, told CNN.
Balloons were tied to cars and the crowd sang “Mayo’s Green and Red”, a famous ballad about the district where Ballina is located. A Biden cardboard cut car in the front seat has a license plate that says “PENNSYLVANIA BIDEN # 1”.
Before the election, the community held a “Ridin ‘for Biden” event around the bridges over the Moy River with a convoy passing through the town’s iconic church and ending in front of the mural of the town. The man himself, erected in the town’s main square.
Local politician Mark Duffy said: “Ballina has always been a weak town in western Ireland, where it has had its own challenges in the past.
“Now, we think the time is right to shine and do our best. We look forward to welcoming more and more visitors from across America and across political divisions.”
He notes that the town is a beautiful place of the world, with lakes, mountains and urban forests in the surrounding area.
Biden still has distant relatives in town.
Joe Blewitt, a third cousin, who has met the president-elect several times, said his name was “completely unfounded”.
“He’s a family man,” Blewitt told CNN by phone.
But Ballina isn’t the only Irish town with a connection to Biden. On the opposite side of the country – in Carlingford, County Louth – a community tube band was set to premiere a national anthem for Biden at noon on Sunday.
Biden James Finnegan’s great-grandfather arrived in New York on the deprivation of Bute ship in 1850 from Carlingford, a coastal town located about 70 miles north of Dublin.
In honor of the election victory of their most famous son, the local parish priest of Carlingford planned to ring the church bell with students and members of the community in attendance.
Paul Allen, head of the Irish campaign organization for Biden, told CNN that the town was overjoyed with the result.
“Joe Biden is an Irish American and it shows what a combination of hard work and determination can make,” he said.
The campaign encouraged Irish people around the world to call a relative in America and ask them to vote for Biden.
“Nurse working in Chicago, firefighter in Boston or police in New York, American construction worker; that’s the link between Irish Americans,” adds Allen.
The Carlingford community held a Biden welcoming ceremony in 2016 and before his visit, he wrote a letter that read: “Northeast Pennsylvania will be written on my heart. But Ireland will be written on my soul. . “
Ireland’s Taoiseach, aka prime minister, Micheál Martin was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Mr. Biden on Saturday’s victory.
Back in Ballina, more celebrations are to be expected on Sunday.
Politician Mark Duffy said: “Her message is a hope and a light in the window for overseas communities. “… 30 years later until this date, one of the descendants of our expat community who left Ballina in a dark and bleak period for Irish history, has continued. holds the highest position in the country. ”