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Congressman Boyle celebrates his Donegal links

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Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Ciaran Brogan presents member sof the Boyle family (l-r) Brendan, Francie and Kevin with Donegal GAA jerseys to commemorate their recent visit to the county


Congressman Brendan Boyle celebrated his close Donegal links when he spoke at a reception held in honour of the Boyle family at the Public Services Centre in Donegal Town last week.


The reception, organised by Donegal County Council, was held to honour their links with their ancestral home, Glencolmcille and the Boyle family success in the political scene in the US.


Mr Boyle (38) was elected in a Democratic stronghold covering Philadelphia and suburbs surrounding the city.


The three-term state representative beat Republican Dee Adcockin Pennsylvania’s 13th District with more than 67 per cent of the vote after seeing off a strong Democrat challenge from former congresswoman Marjorie Marjolies, the mother-in-law of Chelsea Clinton.


His win was the biggest Irish victory in these US elections in a campaign that played heavily on the working-class story of his Irish father Frank, a janitor on Philadelphia’s rail transit system.


Chief Executive Seamus Neely welcomed the Boyle family to the county saying they appreciated that they took time out of their busy schedule to be there. He paid tribute to the family and in particular their father, Francie, for remembering his Glencolmcille roots.


Cathaoirleach Cllr Ciaran Brogan recalled his connections with the Boyle family from time he had spent in Philadelphia adding people all over the county were delighted with their successes.


“We’re very proud of the success you’ve had and those of us that worked in America over the years would appreciate how much you value your roots. It is my intention that sometime in the future we organise a more formal occasion to mark your success and I hope today is the start of a relationship that we can build on.”


He added for years the Council enjoyed a very good relationship with many Irish-American networks and urged Congressman Boyle to focus on the plight of the undocumented as part of his work.


Cllr Brogan presented the Boyle family with special Donegal County Council ties, pens as well as a Donegal GAA jersey, kindly sponsored by county GAA star, Michael Murphy.



Mr Boyle thanked everyone concerned with the reception. He said this was his fourth visit to the county but assured everyone he had never forgotten when he had come from.


He attributed his electoral success to his father’s Donegal roots.


“We told our dad’s story in coming from Donegal in 1970 and working hard and trying to strive for the American dream. What was interesting was that even though very few people in Philadelphia are from Donegal or even of Irish descent, everyone had a story that was similar that they could identify with and my dad’s story, our family’s story and the story of so many that came from Donegal resonated much more that a former President of the United States,” he said.


Congressman Boyle, the only member of the US Congress with an Irish-born parent, added that day’s event might be the beginning of a relationship with him in a different capacity but for him it was just the continuation of a relationship that had always existed and would continue to exist.


“I realize how fortunate I am and that I would not be in the position without my dad, mom and so many of my family who worked to give my brother and me opportunities and now making sure that I use any position or influence I have to make sure that other people that come from Donegal or any of the 32 counties have those same opportunities. That’s a responsibility that I feel is on my shoulders and it’s a very important one that I take seriously and  I look forward to working with everyone here to get the job done,” he said.


Congressman Boyle’s brother, Kevin, a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives also spoke of his love for the county and his desire for the local economy here to grow strong.


“People shouldn’t have to emigrate. There’s such a talented workforce here and I know Brendan and I will always work to make sure that Donegal is given the respect and the economic resources that it truly deserved,” he said.


Francie Boyle also thanked everyone for the hospitality shown throughout their stay and thanked the Council for the wonderful reception afforded them.


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