Biden names Irish-American lawyer and politician as new US ambassador to Ireland

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney is welcoming US President Joe Biden’s nomination of an Irish-American lawyer and state representative as the next American ambassador to Ireland.

r Coveney said the president’s choice of Claire Cronin to the post is “very welcome news” and “we look forward to welcoming her to Ireland.”

Ms Cronin, (61) is described by The Boston Globe newspaper as the “second-ranking Democrat” in the Massachusetts House (of Representatives) as well as the first female majority leader in the state legislature.

The married mother-of-two, who represents the Easton district of Massachusetts south of Boston,  was a leading fundraiser for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in the state and appeared on US national television during the Democratic National Convention last summer when she “cast the state’s official nominating votes for him,” according to the newspaper.

Ms Cronin spoke of her Irish roots in a statement released by the White House today. 

“I am deeply honored [sic] to be nominated by President Biden for ambassador to Ireland, especially given the President’s and my own Irish roots,” she said.

“If confirmed, I look forward to serving as ambassador and working with our partners in Ireland on both the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.”

Her nomination will go before the Senate for a confirmation hearing and senators will then vote before she is officially named to the post.

She previously chaired the legislature’s powerful judiciary committee where she helped usher a “sweeping criminal justice reform bill into law in 2018,” and last year was among the House’s chief negotiators on a high-profile police accountability bill, according to The Boston Globe.

She was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 and as a lawyer she served as mediator in the landmark Catholic clergy sexual abuse settlement.

According to the IrishCentral website, which previously reported she was viewed as the main contender for the job, Ms Cronin was “a key figure in Biden’s Massachusetts primary election when Biden succeeded in defeating hometown candidate Elizabeth Warren for the Massachusetts nomination – a major coup. She was the head of the Biden for president group in the state.”

The Irish ambassador post has been vacant since Ohio businessman Ed Crawford left following former US President Donald Trump’s defeat in the last November’s election. He was appointed in June 2019.

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