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US vice-presidential hopeful Tim Kaine has Longford roots

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives with Tim Kaine at a rally in Miami
Staff Reporter

HILLARY Clinton has selected a "proud Irish-American" with Co Longford family connections as her running mate in her bid for the White House.

Virginia senator Tim Kaine was described by Mrs Clinton as "a progressive who likes to get things done".

She joined him in the crucial battleground state of Florida to help kick off the Democratic National Convention.

Mr Kaine has been a frequent visitor to Ireland in the last decade.

His great grandfather Patrick J Farrell was a native of Killashee in Co Longford and emigrated to the US in the late 1800s. All four of his grandparents were born to Irish immigrants in the US.

Speaking at The American Ireland Fund Washington DC National Gala in March this year, Mr Kaine said he cared deeply about Ireland "and our Irish roots".

"I am about as stone Irish as you get for somebody whose family has been in the country for 150 years," he said.

"Ireland played a huge and important role in my life but I had never been to Ireland. So it was photos, it was genealogy and it was family stories and it was Roman Catholicism and it was music and it was St Patrick's Day. That's what being Irish meant to me but I felt the deep connection to it."

Mrs Clinton offered Mr Kaine the vice presidential spot on the Democratic ticket in a phone call on Friday night. His selection completes the line-up for the general election. Mrs Clinton and Mr Kaine will face Republican Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, the Indiana governor.

Hugh Farrell, who is heavily involved in his family's genealogy in Longford, said Mr Kaine's links could be easily found in the census both in Ireland and the US adding that would be delighted to welcome him to Longford.

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