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Irish-Americans are hopeful for the future if Biden can hold on

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Georgia native Aisling Westpheling

Georgia native Aisling Westpheling

Georgia native Aisling Westpheling

The Irish-American community in Ireland have been watching closely to see whether Democratic candidate Joe Biden will make a final surge forward to become President of the United States.

Biden has made reference to his strong Irish-Catholic roots on several occasions throughout the campaign trail and has held a number of virtual rallies for Irish-Americans in the hopes of securing their vote.

There are over 70,000 American citizens living in Ireland, the majority of whom voted for Biden according to Democrats Abroad, an organisation designed to help American citizens overseas to vote via postal ballot.

Vice-Chair of the organisation TJ Mulloy has spoken about what a Biden presidency would mean for Ireland.

He said it would bring "a great transatlantic partner and full support of the Good Friday agreement.

A democratic leadership will ensure that it is fully implemented and enforced going forward as it has been for the last two decades," he said.

The Ohio-born Democrat, who has been living in Ireland for almost ten years, also noted he believed a Biden presidency, if secured, would improve Ireland's relationship with the US.

He believed it would rebuild a relationship with the EU in a lot of ways.

As the favourite amongst the younger demographic, young Americans living in Ireland have also reacted positively to the idea of a Biden administration.

However, some have also been quick to point out that a new president won't solve all of their problems overnight.

Georgia native Aisling Westpheling, who has been living in Ireland for three years, said that the US still has a lot of work to do when it comes to political reform.

Terrifying

"The divisions that exist in America don't seem to be going away. Political polarisation seems to ramp up further every year, and frankly, it's terrifying."

She said hopefully if elected, Biden will be able to de-escalate the tensions that have been building in the US so that we can get down to the real work of improving the country for everyone," she said.

Westpheling also discussed her hopes that a democratic leadership would create a stronger union between her current country and her native homeland.

"I think Ireland and America share a lot of ties both culturally and economically, which will likely only strengthen after Brexit. I hope Biden is able to repair America's relationship with international institutions such as the EU and WHO that affect both the US and Ireland.

Trump's "America First" approach came at the detriment of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement, and Nuclear disarmament."

For other Americans living in Ireland, the US election has served as a crucial point in determining their way of life for the last four years.

Brendan O'Dowd, who had previously lived in Washington DC for 25 years, discussed his decision to move to Ireland with his wife and two daughters following Trump's victory in 2016.

"Living in the DC area, you live with politics and politicians in your daily life. Some of our friends had worked in the White House, or in other government bodies. In the US, politics is not just government, it is religion."

Most Republicans and Democrats align their personal values with religious fervour to the party they support," he said.


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