There’s great pride in Knockmore, Ballina ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration of the 46th President of the USA, Joe Biden.
Members of the Knockmore based, Blewitt family, in different circumstances, would certainly be in Washington tomorrow to be with their cousin for the big occasion.
The Blewitt family link is through the incoming President’s mother, Jean. Her grandfather Edward Blewitt’s parents had travelled from Ballina to the United States during the Great Famine in the 1800s.
Joe Biden visited with his Knockmore cousins when he travelled to Mayo as US Vice President in 2016.
The following year he officially turned the sod on the new Mayo Roscommon Hospice facility in Castlebar.
But Joe Biden’s cousins will have to watch tomorrow’s ceremony from their own Mayo homes due to the worldwide Covid 19 pandemic.
The inauguration of the incoming US President is always a big formal celebration in Washington and attracts international guests and supporters, but tomorrow’s Presidential inauguration is happening under very different circumstances and will be a much more low keyevent.
The Covid 19 pandemic is described as out of control in the country at present, and there is widespread fear of violence in light of the recent assault on the Capitol Building by supporters of Donald Trump. Thousands of state troopers are on the streets of the US capital and tomorrow’s inauguration ceremony is set to be very different from ever before.
Today is Donald Trump's final full day in office and he has refused to attend the inauguration of his successor.
One person who would love to be in Washington tomorrow is Laurita Blewitt from Knockmore. She was in Nevada this time last year on the Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign. He introduced her on stage as his Irish cousin.
With just over 24 hours to go to the ceremony, Laurita spoke to Midwest News about how she and her family in Mayo are feeling ahead of the proud occasion.