The new US Ambassador to Ireland received a warm welcome back to the land of her family roots yesterday when she visited Inishowen.
Claire Cronin made her first visit to Carrowmenagh near Moville, where her grandfather Hugh McLaughlin was born in 1886.
Despite the rain, she was greeted with flowers and smiles.
Ambassador Cronin (nee McLaughlin) got the unique chance to meet relatives such as Lily McLaughlin and locals including Pol and Julie Callaghan who have the same ancestral connections.
Her family’s history in the town is bittersweet. Her family was one of 13 families to be evicted in December 1881. Hugh McLaughlin emigrated to the U.S. with three of his brothers in 1912. Hugh married an Englishwoman, Mary A. Lappin, in Manhattan in 1915.
Ambassador Cronin was shown to the grave of her great grandparents and the site of their former home during her visit.
She was presented with a piece of historical text about the Carrowmenagh evictions from the Tremone Historical Society at the garden of remembrance.
Tweeting afterwards, Ambassador Cronin thanked those who made the visit special and said: ” It was an emotional return home for me.”
This morning I visited the small village of Carrowmenagh in Donegal where my grandfather was born. It was an emotional return home for me. I would like to thank the locals for showing me the grave of my great grandparents and the site of their former home. pic.twitter.com/VRnEwsSJxL
— Claire Cronin (@USAmbIreland) May 9, 2022
The Massachusetts native was sworn in as the new US Ambassador in January 2022. Since then, she had been making plans to trace her family history back to Donegal.