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Joe Biden: Carlingford celebrates links to US president-elect

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  • US election 2020
image captionCarlingford hopes the real president will come back and visit the town soon

People in Carlingford have held a parade to celebrate the election of Joe Biden as US president.

Mr Biden has roots in County Louth, from where his great-great-grandfather emigrated to the US in the 1840s.

He also has relatives in County Mayo, who celebrated his success as news broke of his impending victory.

On Sunday the Carlingford pipe band played a special new anthem called Our Local Joe, as residents gathered in the town.

Mr Biden is set to become the 46th president of the United States, after being projected as the winner of the elections on Saturday.

The president-elect's distant cousins - the Finegans - live in the town and were part of the celebrations.

image captionJohn Owen Finegan turned out to celebrate his cousin's victory, along with other family members including Andrea McKevitt (far right)

John Owen Finegan said he wished Mr Biden "all the best and the best of health in his new post" and said "we'd like to see him back in the near future".

Andrea McKevitt, a councillor for the area and another distant cousin of Mr Biden, said the atmosphere in the town was "truly magical".

"When he got elected, everyone was so ecstatic and we are so proud of cousin Joe," she said.

Four years ago, Mr Biden visited Carlingford and said he hoped he would return as president one day.

He told a secret serviceman, unsure of where he was: "Man, you're in heaven".

Mr Biden has frequently said that his Irish heritage is of great importance to him.

'This is Joe Biden country'

By Kevin Sharkey, BBC News NI

The spirit of Joe Biden was to be found around the foothills of the Cooley peninsula and along the shores of Carlingford Lough this morning.

Just before noon, a trickle of people began arriving in Carlingford town centre, then suddenly there were hundreds of people.

Within minutes, the local pipe band struck up to the tune of the popular Irish song Fáinne Geal an Lae - the Dawning of the Day.

With American and Irish national colours everywhere, and a few cardboard cut-outs of the president-elect, one woman said: "This is Joe Biden country."

Andrea McKevitt, a sixth cousin, was proudly sporting a Cousin Joe badge.

The Biden "cousins" just kept coming.

Brother and sister Doreen Keenan and Oisin White met Mr Biden when he was here in 2016 and they were proudly showing off cherished photographs with their fifth cousin.

In the shadow of the historic King John's Castle, an elderly man cast an eye towards it and announced - "We now have a new King in Carlingford, King Joe"

Sunday's festivities were organised by the Irish for Biden organisation, which encouraged Irish people with relatives in the US to lobby for Mr Biden.

Paul Allen, from the group, said they were "overjoyed" by the result of their campaign.

"There has probably been no other president in US history that takes a greater in pride in their heritage than Joe Biden," he said.

"There is no doubt that Ireland now has at least two listening ears in the White House, and the potential for this is enormous, from improved relationships, US companies in Ireland, undocumented Irish, Brexit and co-operation on international policy.

"As Joe himself said - 'Northeast Pennsylvania will be written on my heart but Ireland will be written on my soul'".

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