Mayor and Council President from President Biden's home town drop into Ballina meeting

Paige G. Cognetti Mayor of Scranton

Paige G. Cognetti Mayor of Scranton

The monthly meeting of the Ballina Municipal District which was held online this month, had a call in from both the Mayor and City Council President from Scranton, Pennsylvania - the home town of the new President of the United States, Joe Biden, on the morning before he was sworn in as the 46th President of the USA.

Both Ballina and Scranton have been twinned for over 30 years and there have been many visits between both over that period, and with the new US President having strong roots in the north Mayo area, there was much to celebrate for both sides.

Scranton City Council President, William Gaughan, also told the meeting that his own ancestors came from Lisaniska and Knockmore before they left for the USA. Addressing the meeting he said: "I'm very excited for a native son of Mayo to be inaugurated today. Joe's from Scranton, where I live, and we're thrilled to have one of our own coming in.

"I'm delighted, too, to have you as a sister city. You can't walk too far here without meeting someone who has links to Mayo, especially Ballina. It's a great day for Mayo and the city of Scranton."

The Mayor of Scranton, Paige Cognetti, said she didn't have any Mayo roots but she and her husband were regular visitors to Ireland and she was looking forward to visiting Ballina when the pandemic has eased.

Both the Cathaoirleach of the Ballina Municipal District, Cllr Seamus Weir, and Declan Turnbull, manager of the Ballina MD, had also been invited to a meeting of Scranton City Council on Tuesday evening - and thanked the Mayor and City Council President for the invite.

Cllr Weir suggested that something should be done to get President Biden to Ballina, and with the 300th anniversary of the town coming up in 2023, it was suggested this would be an ideal time to have him visit. Mayor Cognetti said that something could be worked on quickly and recommended a proposal be sent into the White House to put the date in the diary and get things moving on it.


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