City Council member in Santa Clara, California, Kathleen (Carolan) Watanab visited Longford this morning where she met with local area representatives and council executives.
Ms Watanab’s parents who hail from Drumlish and Corlea, has visited the county on a number of occasions, but this is her first in her newly elected local government role.
She was elected to Santa Clara City Council in 2016 and has since been appointed to a number of committees there.
Regeneration, social integration and community development are her key areas of interest, factors that acting manager, Longford Co Council, John McKeon pointed out “were equally as important in Co Longford”.
Ms Watanab’s father Kevin was born and reared in Ohill, Drumlish and her mother was a native of Corlea in Kenagh.
Her maternal grandfather, John Francis Reynolds was a member of the North Longford Flying Column and this signifies an important connection between her family and General Séan McEoin, Thomas Ashe, Michael Collins and the other revolutionaries of the time.
“I am delighted to be here,” she smiled, before pointing out that her father back in the States was looking forward to hearing all about her trip to Co Longford.
She also extended an invited to her fellow elected members in this county to Santa Clara and indicated her interest in forging friendships between the two nations.
For more on this story, see next week’s Longford Leader, on sale Wednesday.