independent

Monday 22 July 2019

New US Ambassador to Ireland has strong family ties to Duhallow area

Ambassador Edward F Crawford's mother emigrated to US from Boherbue

BILL BROWNE

It is hoped that the new US ambassador to Ireland, who has strong family links to North Cork, will visit the region at some point in the future following his formal appointment to the role.

Edward F Crawford presented his credentials to President Michael D Higgins at a ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin on Tuesday, officially assuming the office of United States Ambassador to Ireland. 

It emerged last year that the octogenarian billionaire businessman from Ohio had been appointed to the position, which had been vacant since Kevin O'Malley, Barack Obama's envoy to Ireland, stood down following the inauguration of President Donald Trump. 

After it emerged that he had familial links to North Cork amateur genealogist and Newmarket native Gerard Murphy set about the painstaking process of tracing his ancestry through online resources including Google and Ancestry.com.

He discovered that Ambassador Crawford's mother, Kate (Kay) 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 on the Carmania ship in 1927 , arriving in New York where she was met by her uncle, Daniel Healy. 

During his research Gerard also found out that Ambassador Crawford's grandfather, Jeremiah Healy, was born in Glashakinleen and was the son of John Healy and Ellen Donohue. Gerard said this was confirmed by the death record of Daniel Healy, who had sponsored Kate Crawford on the Carmania's manifest. 

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 for the west coast of America to make their home in California. However, their truck broke down in Ohio and the family eventually settled in Cleveland. 

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

Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Crawford, who once described himself as a "serial entrepreneur", founded and served as chairman and CEO of Park-Ohio Industries, Inc., an international industrial manufacturer of technology components with annual revenues of $2 billion and 8,000 associates worldwide.

He is the recipient of the Northeast Ohio Business Hall of Fame Entrepreneurial Award, Small Business News Master Innovator Award, Ernst & Young Northeast Ohio Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Small Business Administration Man of the Year-Ohio Award. He has a long history of philanthropy and entrepreneurship in Cleveland, Ohio, where has been active for many years in the city's Irish-American community. 

Speaking at the ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin Ambassador Crawford said his parents him imbued him with a keen sense of his Irish identity from a young age. 

"I am deeply honoured to serve in this role," he said.  "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.

Corkman

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