Northern Ireland

Donegal-American politician condemned over bar row

Democratic representative Kevin J Boyle
Democratic representative Kevin J Boyle has strong links with his father's native County Donegal.

A prominent US politician with strong Co Donegal links has been criticised after his expletive-laden tirade against staff and patrons at a US bar was widely circulated on social media.

A member of a leading Irish-American political family, Kevin J Boyle (44) verbally attacked staff at the Gaul and Co Malt House bar in Rockledge, Pennsylvania.

Mr Boyle, whose father, Francis is from Glencolmcille, is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives.

He is also a brother of US congressman Brandan Boyle, who is considered a rising star in US democratic politics. Mr Boyle’s father emigrated to the US at the age of 19.

In a three-minute verbal attack, Mr Boyle called those in the bar “idiots”, “morons” and “traitors” and widely used the “F-word”.

When he was asked to leave by a female bar tender, he accused her of being aggressive and threatened to close the bar.

He said: “Do you know who the f**k I am? This bar is done tomorrow, do you know who the f**k I am?”

The Democratic Party leadership at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives described the video as “very troubling”. A spokesman said Mr Boyle had been “open about his personal challenges” in the past.

He said: “We are encouraged that our colleague and dear friend is seeking help.”

The Democratic Party said its commitment to delivering mental health services did not stop outside the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

In 2020, Mr Boyle spoke of his love for his father’s native Donegal when the family was given a reception by Donegal county council. The Pennsylvania politician was joined by his father and his brother at the reception.

He said: “People shouldn’t have to emigrate. There’s such a talented workforce here and I known Brandan and I will always work to make sure that Donegal is given the respect and the economic resources that it truly deserves.”

The two brothers and their father were also presented with Donegal GAA jerseys.