A lawyer with close connections to Longford is on the campaign trail in New York ahead of elections in the US state next month.
John Cahill, whose late father James was a native of Ballinalee, is the Republican Party’s candidate to become the next Attorney General of New York.
“My Irishness was very much to the fore when I was growing up,” he told the Longford Leader. “I did Irish set dancing and we often went to watch the hurling and football at Gaelic Park.”
The aspiring politician visits Ireland regularly, having first come here with his father when he was 13.
“My father hadn’t been home for 30 years, so I have fond memories of that visit,” he said. “It was a special time for him, and a special time for me to be with him. We had a wonderful time meeting relatives, including my father’s brother, Christopher.
“In 2006 I took my family to see Ballinalee and the house where my father was born,” Mr Cahill continued, adding that his mother, Margaret (née Connolly) was from Mullahoran.
“They met in New York in the 1950s,” he explained.
Mr Cahill also revealed his interest in politics was sparked by his father: “My dad followed politics closely. In the 1960s there was a lot of turbulence in the world and he always talked to us and challenged us about it.”
While his current campaign marks the first time he has sought election, Mr Cahill is by no means a newcomer to the political arena, having served as Chief of Staff to former Governer of New York, George Pataki, and he hopes this experience will stand to him in the election race: “It’s tough for Republicans to get elected in New York but I worked for a Republican who was successfully elected three times.”
Speaking about his aims, Mr Cahill said he is hoping for bipartisan co-operation, and that integrity in government is his main priority. “New York has a long history of bipartisan government, and when it hasn’t been there we’ve seen more corruption.”