Opinion

Wednesday 15 August 2018

The diaspora who dote on the Donald

RTE's Washington correspondent Caitriona Perry has written her inside account on the rise of Donald Trump. In an exclusive extract from In America, she explains his appeal among many of the Irish living in the United States

IN AMERICA: Caitriona Perry with US president Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Below, Carolyn Welsh — better known as Sheriff Bunny
IN AMERICA: Caitriona Perry with US president Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Below, Carolyn Welsh — better known as Sheriff Bunny

Caitriona Perry

There's a meeting once a month in mid-western Massachusetts, deep in Democratic country. The club is full of older gentlemen who do good works, a sort of Rotary club-type organisation.

Many of those here worked for that great Irish-American Massachusetts dynasty - Kennedy World. Some for JFK, others for his brothers Robert or Ted. The expression 'dyed-in-the-wool Democrats' could have been invented for these men. They are hard-working, lower middle class and they value unions, pay packets and fairness. Most of them could trace their heritage back to Ireland. Some would have to go back six or seven generations; for others it's their grandparents or even a parent.

At a meeting in this community hall in late September, in that wonderful time of year that is a New England fall, several of them turned up wearing red baseball caps with the familiar Make America Great Again slogan. They were not asked to remove them.

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