US ambassador pledges to build bonds with Ireland

US ambassador pledges to build bonds with Ireland
Edward Crawford, at Áras an Uachtaráin, inspects a guard of honour provided by the 12th Infantry Battalion, Limerick. Pictures: Maxwells

Newly appointed US ambassador to Ireland Edward Crawford has pledged to strengthen the bonds between Ireland and America.

With his family watching on at a swearing in ceremony at Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday, the Ohio diplomat spoke about the journey his Irish parents made as immigrants from Cork to Ellis Island in the US in the 1920s.

President Michael D Higgins and Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan attended the ceremony at the Phoenix Park where Mr Crawford was officially made ambassador after he presented his credentials.

This comes after the US Senate in Washington earlier this month approved the nomination, which finally filled a vacancy that began when Donald Trump was inaugurated in 2017.

Mr Crawford is a businessman and heads the Edward Crawford Group and Park-Ohio Industries, an international group with more than 7,500 employees.

He served as Mr Trump’s Ohio finance chair, and Federal Election Commission have shown that he donated funds to a joint fundraising committee that aided the president’s election.

As a philanthropist, Mr Crawford has been recognised for his community service by many organisations, including the Ronald McDonald House, the Mayo Society, Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Our Lady of the Wayside and John Carroll University.

During a confirmation hearing in the US in April, Mr Crawford said he would keep a commitment by President Trump and the US to help maintain peace in the North.

Speaking in Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday, he said:

I am returning, I have a family with Irish roots.

President Higgins told the incoming diplomat that his parents, when they left Cork for the US in 1927, probably would have been speaking Irish. He wished Mr Crawford the very best in his term here.

In a statement at the swearing in ceremony. Mr Crawford also pledged to help boost the cooperation and work between Ireland and the United States.

“I am deeply honoured to serve in this role. When I was a young boy, my parents instilled in me a deep love and sense of connection to Ireland. As ambassador, I plan to build on our important relationship and strengthen the bonds between our two countries.”

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