Joe Biden

  • Former US Vice President, with Mayo connections, Joe Biden has officially announced he will be seeking the Democrats nomination to run for US President in 2020

    He has formally thrown his hat in the ring today after months of speculation that he would enter the race.

    The 76 year old is one of twenty Democrats vying for the nomination to take on DONALD Trump.

    Mr Biden visited county Mayo in 2016, when he was the US Vice president.

     He has family connections in north Mayo and received a very warm welcome in Ballina, Castlebar and Westport – where large crowds turned out to greet him.

  • There’s great pride in Knockmore, Ballina ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration of the 46th President of the USA, Joe Biden.

    Members of the Knockmore based, Blewitt family, in different circumstances, would certainly be in Washington tomorrow to be with their cousin for the big occasion.

    The Blewitt family link is through the incoming President’s mother, Jean. Her grandfather Edward Blewitt’s parents had travelled from Ballina to the United States during the Great Famine in the 1800s.

    Joe Biden visited with his Knockmore cousins when he travelled to Mayo as US Vice President in 2016.

    The following year he officially turned the sod on the new Mayo Roscommon Hospice facility in Castlebar.

    But Joe Biden’s cousins will have to watch tomorrow’s ceremony from their own Mayo homes due to the worldwide Covid 19 pandemic.

    The inauguration of the incoming US President is always a big formal celebration in Washington and attracts international guests and supporters, but tomorrow’s Presidential inauguration is happening under very different circumstances and will be a much more low keyevent.

    The Covid 19 pandemic is described as out of control in the country at present, and there is widespread fear of violence in light of the recent assault on the Capitol Building by supporters of Donald Trump. Thousands of state troopers are on the streets of the US capital and tomorrow’s inauguration ceremony is set to be very different from ever before.

    Today is Donald Trump's final full day in office and he has refused to attend the inauguration of his successor.

    One person who would love to be in Washington tomorrow is Laurita Blewitt from Knockmore. She was in Nevada this time last year on the Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign. He introduced her on stage as his Irish cousin.

    With just over 24 hours to go to the ceremony, Laurita spoke to Midwest News about how she and her family in Mayo are feeling ahead of the proud occasion.

  • Joe Biden has said he believes he's on course to win the US presidential election.

     

    But it's all still to play for in the US election with a few key states left in play.

    Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are still counting and it may be into tomorrow before there's a result there.

    Donald Trump leads in those states but there are many votes still to be counted that it's expected will lean towards the Democrats.

    Joe Biden says he believes he'll win Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania which would put him into the White House.

    Donald Trump has tweeted this morning, accusing the Democrats of trying to steal the election.

    There are still millions of votes to be counted and it may be many hours before we know the official result.

  • Americans are voting for their next US President today.

    Current President Donald Trump is currently trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden by over 8 percent on average in the polls nationwide. But of course, the polls are not always accurate or right.

    Nearly 99 million people have voted early, which is over 70 percent of the total votes cast in 2016.

    The Blewitt family in Knockmore have an added interest in the race, as Joe Biden is a relative. The Blewitt family link came through his mother,Jean. Her grandfather Edward Blewitt’s parents had travelled from Ballina to the United States during the Great Famine in the 1800s.

    Joe Biden visited with his Knockmore cousins when he travelled to Mayo as US Vice President in 2016.

    The following year he officially turned the sod on the new Mayo Roscommon Hospice facility in Castlebar.

    Laurita Blewitt was in Nevada earlier this year on the Joe Biden Presidential campaign and the former Vice President introduced her on stage as his Irish cousin. She is not in the US now due to Covid 19 Restrictions on travel, but she is busy as part of the very successful podcast team of Tommy Tiernan, Hector and herself.

    Laurita spoke to Midwest News today about the excitement in the family home in Knockmore as polling day is now underway.

    She described Joe Biden “as a safe pair of hands” to take the helm in a country where at present there is a lot of fear.

  • A Ballina-based plumber is pictured on the front page of the Irish Examiner newspaper this morning, due to his family connections with US Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

    Joe Blewitt, a heating & plumbing contractor, is a cousin of Joe Biden's and his work van is now proudly endorsing his relative in the upcoming November US Presidential election.

    Pictures of Joe's van have spread across local media, since he got the sign-writing done at the weekend.

    The van signage reads - "Joe Biden for the White House and Joe Blewitt for your house".

    Mr Blewitt has met Mr Biden - both when the former Vice-President visited Ballina in June 2016, and when members of the Blewitt family visited him in the White House before he finished up as Vice-President.

     

    Joe Blewitt has described Mr Biden as " a lovely fella, a down-to-earth family man"  and an experienced politician "who knows what he's doing".

     

  • Councillors at yesterday's Ballina Municipal District Meeting agreed to officially invite US President Elect Joe Biden to revisit his ancestral homeplace of Ballina following his inauguration.

    Cllr Seamus Weir, Cathaoirleach of the Ballina Municipal District, proposed the state visit and suggested that it should coincide with the planned celebrations of Ballina’s 300th anniversary in 2023.

    Mr Biden’s great, great, great grandfather, Edward Blewitt, was from Garden St in Ballina and emigrated to the USA in Famine times.

    Cllr Weir has been telling Midwest News that the President Elect’s Mayo connections will be very important to Ballina from an economic point of view.

  • Mayo deputy Michael Ring is confident that Joe Biden as US President will be back in Ballina, Castlebar and Westport over the term of his office.
    In 2016, the people of Mayo came out on to the streets in these towns, in their thousands, to meet and shake hands with Joe Biden as US Vice President.
    Deputy Ring told Midwest News that today is a great day for Joe Biden and his family, and for Mayo, and for Ireland.
    He described Joe Biden as a gentle and friendly man who never misses a chance to refer to his Irish heritage. 
    "He now faces a very tough job leading a very divided US and I certainly wish him well with the many challenges ahead of him", deputy Ring stated.
    There’s excitement and pride across county Mayo today as Joe Biden is set to become the  46th US President at a scaled-back ceremony in Washington this evening.
    US flags are flying high outside the homes of members of the Knockmore based, Blewitt family as they are related to Mr Biden. The family link is through his mother, Jean. Her grandfather Edward Blewitt’s parents travelled from Ballina to the United States during the Famine in the 1840s. The incoming President visited with his Knockmore cousins when he travelled to Mayo as US Vice President in 2016.
    The formal US Presidential Inauguration ceremony today has been stripped of its usual pomp, due both to the Covid 19 pandemic, as well as security concerns following the 6 January assault on the US Capitol building  by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
    Last night at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington Joe Biden led a Remembrance service for the 400,000 Americans who have died with the virus over the last 10 months.
    There will only be a small number of attendees present today when Joe Biden will take the oath of office before US Chief Justice John Roberts just after noon (5pm Irish time), placing his hand on an heirloom Bible that has been in the Biden family for more than a century.
    His running mate, Kamala Harris will become the first woman, first Black person and first Asian American to serve as vice president after she is sworn in by US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
    The support and delight for Joe Biden’s Presidency in Ireland extends well beyond Ballina and county Mayo. The lead organiser of the Irish for Biden Campaign, Paul Allen told Midwest News today that "it’s a great day for Ireland, as Joe Biden a friend of Ireland, takes the helm in the US".

     

     
  • A giant mural depicting the US Presidential candidate Joe Biden has been unveiled in Ballina.

    The painting, measuring 5m x 3.5m, was completed by local artists Smiler Mitchell and Leslie Lackey in recent days.

    Mr Biden has links to Co Mayo and has visited the area on a number of occasions in recent years.

    He travelled to Mayo in 2016, in his capacity as US Vice President. In 2017, he returned to turn the sod on a new hospice building outside Castlebar.

    The mural was unveiled yesterday evening on Market Square.

    Mr. Biden's great, great, great grandfather, Edward Blewitt, emigrated to the US from Ballina over 160 years ago.

  • Joe Biden is edging closer to winning the White House - however he is facing the threat of legal action from Donald Trump.

    The Democratic hopeful has got 253 of the 270 electoral college votes needed to be declared the President-elect.

    Donald Trump, who's at 214, is demanding a recount in Wisconsin, while saying counting in Pennsylvania needs to stop.

    Joe Biden has said he will do everything he can to build bridges across the American political divide if he is confirmed as the next US President.

    In a speech from his home state of Delaware  last night, Mr Biden- who has family connections in Mayo -  insisted that “every vote must be counted”

     

     

     

  • Joe Biden says he'll win the US Presidential race with a "clear majority.

    The Democratic candidate who has cousins in North Mayo has spoken to the American people after overtaking Donald Trump in the key remaining states of Georgia and Pennsylvania.

    In a statement, President Trump says he's now contesting "the entire election process" in legal proceedings.

    It's now four days since voters went to the polls - and Mr Biden acknowledged that waiting for the result has been painfully slow.

  • Joe Biden has been officially confirmed as the next US president in a vote last night by the Electoral College.

    He got more than the 270 votes needed to secure the White House.

    And he's taken aim at Donald Trump's 'unprecedented assault' on America's democratic systems.

    Mr Biden - whose ancestors are from the Ballina area - pointed to President Trump's repeated and unsuccessful attempts to challenge the result.

  • There’s excitement and pride across Co Mayo today as Joe Biden is set to become the  46th US President at a scaled-back ceremony in Washington this evening.

    Around 1 thousand people are expected to be at the inauguration in Washington DC - significantly lower than at previous ceremonies.

    The event - which gets underway at 5pm Irish time -  has been scaled back due to security concerns as well as COVID-19 guidelines.

    Joe Biden will take the oath of office before US Chief Justice John Roberts just after 12 noon American time .

    The ceremony will unfold in front of a heavily fortified US Capitol, where Donald Trump supporters stormed the building two weeks ago, following his  false claims that November's election was stolen with millions of fraudulent votes.

    Mr Biden's great-great-grandfather emigrated from Knockmore to the USA in the 1840's, and the incoming President has always spoken proudly of his Mayo roots.

    Joe Biden visited Ballina as US Vice-President in 2016, and returned the following year to turn the sod on the Mayo/ Roscommon hospice unit in Castlebar.

    A mural of the incoming President was unveiled in Market Square in Ballina late last year.

    Joe Blewitt, one of the incoming President's relatives from Knockmore,  says it's a great day for the family, and the people of Ballina and Co Mayo.

  • Hours after hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol, Congress has formally certified Democrat Joe Biden's election victory.

    Immediately after the certification, the White House released a statement from Donald Trump in which he pledged an "orderly transition" on 20 January when the man with close connections to county Mayo, JoeBiden will be sworn into office.

    Congress had resumed its work certifying Mr Biden's Electoral College win late yesterday after the chaotic scenes on Capitol Hill, with debate stretching into the early hours this morning.

    Vice President Mike Pence, in declaring the final vote totals behind Mr Biden's victory, said this "shall be deemed a sufficient declaration of the persons elected president and vice president of the United States".

    Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take office alongside Mr Biden on 20 January.

    4 people died following yesterday’s attack on the Capitol building.

  • The music of a Claremorris-born composer featured as part of the inauguration ceremony for US President-elect Joe Biden today.

    The Proclamation was performed by leading Irish concert violinist Patricia Treacy during the inaugural Mass, a piece of music that was composed by Claremorris native Patrick Cassidy.

    Ms. Treacy previously performed this piece during the 1916 Centenary Commemorations when President Michael D. Higgins laid a wreath to honour those who fought and died in the Rising at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin.’

    Patrick Cassidy has today told Midwest News that to have his music played at the inauguration of a US President is an immensely proud moment for him.

     

  • Today is a proud day for Joe Biden's Mayo relatives, although they will have to watch from home as he will be inaugurated as the 46th President of the USA later.

    Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Blewitt family from Knockmore cannot take up their invitiations to the event in Washington DC and will have to watch the proceedings on television.

    Mr Biden's great-great-grandfather emigrated from Knockmore to the USA in the 1840's, and the incoming President has always spoken proudly of his Mayo roots.

    Joe Biden visited Ballina as US Vice-President in 2016, and returned the following year to turn the sod on the Mayo/ Roscommon hospice unit in Castlebar.

    A mural of the incoming President was unveiled in Market Square in Ballina late last year.

    Mr Biden has now arrived in Washington DC as he prepares to be sworn in as President of the United States.

    He will be inaugurated this afternoon, replacing Donald Trump, who will not attend the ceremony.