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Monday 19 August 2019

'A family dream come true' - new US Ambassador to Ireland pays emotional trip to ancestral home in Cork

Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Edward F. Crawford speaking at the U.S. Ambassadors Residence during an Independence Day Party in the Phoenix Park.
(Photo: Steve Humphreys)
Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Edward F. Crawford speaking at the U.S. Ambassadors Residence during an Independence Day Party in the Phoenix Park. (Photo: Steve Humphreys)

Ralph Riegel

THE new US Ambassador to Ireland paid an emotional trip to his ancestral home in Cork.

Ohio billionaire Edward F Crawford (81), who took up his new role on July 1 after being appointed by President Donald Trump, was determined to visit Boherhue in north Cork where his late mother Catherine (Kate) was born.

Today, he toured the Healy homestead where his late mother was born 108 years ago and places in Boherbue associated with his Irish relatives.

"I have always had Boherbue in my heart because of my mother," he said.

Amateur genealogist Gerard Murphy from Newmarket undertook the painstaking process of tracing Mr Crawford's ancestry in north Cork.

He discovered that Ambassador Crawford's mother, Kate Crawford (nee Healy), who was born in 1911 and passed away in the US in 1986, was originally from Gneeves in Boherbue.

The daughter of Jeremiah Healy and Mary McCarthy, she emigrated to the US from Cobh (then Quuenstown) on the SS Carmania ship in 1927, arriving in New York where she was met by her uncle, Daniel Healy.

Ambassador Crawford's aunt was the late Cecilia Healy, who passed away in 1996.

His father, Roy Crawford, is also understood to hail from Cork and emigrated to America in 1925.

In 1948 Ambassador Crawford's father, who worked as an electrician, and mother, along with his two brothers, set out to travel across the US and re-settle in California.

However, their family vehicle broke down in Ohio and they eventually settled in Cleveland.

Ambassador Crawford married his wife Mary and the couple have a son Matthew, who is married to Deborah.

He has three grandchildren, Colin, Catherine and Claire.

In the 1960s, he attended night school at John Carroll University in Ohio while working in sales for local company Inland Steel.

He went on to set up his own steel company with a friend before branching out into other areas of specialist manufacturing.

Ambassador Crawford, who described himself as a "serial entrepreneur", founded Park-Ohio Industries, a manufacturer of technology components with annual revenues of $2 billion.

Active in the Irish-American community in Ohio, he said his appointment as US Ambassador to Ireland was "a family dream come true."

Mr Crawford also served in the 107th Armoured Cavalry of the US National Guard.

"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," he added.

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