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US vice president may visit Mayo

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Biden invited to Knockmore

Edwin McGreal

The Vice-President of the United States, Joe Biden, has been invited to Knockmore, where he has significant family links, The Mayo News can reveal.
The Irish government is believed to be attempting to attract Mr Biden to Ireland for the second Global Irish Economic Forum at Dublin Castle this autumn and hopes are high in the Knockmore area that Mr Biden will be able to visit the north Mayo village as part of his trip.
Mr Biden’s great-grandfather Patrick Blewitt emigrated from north Mayo in 1835 and he has third cousins in the wider Ballina area. Brendan Blewitt lives in Runagry, near Knockmore while Brendan’s sister Breege Bourke and his brother Mike both live in Ballina. Their cousin Hubert Blewitt lives in Rehins.
Brendan Blewitt told The Mayo News that official contact was made yesterday via the Irish and American Embassies to invite his third cousin to Knockmore.
“It would be brilliant if he were to come to Knockmore. His mother has been here before and visited the family home and we have made contact through the embassies. He would be most welcome in the Parish of the Backs and we would be delighted to have him,” said Mr Blewitt.
Patrick Blewitt, who emigrated in 1835, had a son called Edward and he subsequently had a daughter, Geraldine Blewitt. Geraldine was Joe Biden’s grandmother. Geraldine married Ambrose J Finnegan and their daughter, Catherine, the vice-president’s mother, married Joe Biden Senior in 1941. The vice-president was born in November, 1942.
Patrick Blewitt’s son, Edward, was also actively involved in politics in Scranton, Pennsylvania where Vice-President Biden is from.
Senior government sources told The Sunday Business Post that the Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation, Richard Bruton, was in high level discussions with US government officials on a possible trip by Biden to Ireland.