US Congressman with Sligo roots takes office

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A United States Congressman with Sligo roots began his first day in office on Tuesday morning.

CONGRESSMAN: Brendan Boyle is an American citizen of Irish descent with strong links to Sligo and Donegal  Picture by DC photojournalist Marty Katz
CONGRESSMAN: Brendan Boyle is an American citizen of Irish descent with strong links to Sligo and Donegal
Picture by DC photojournalist Marty Katz

Brendan Boyle, a Democratic representative for Montgomery County and North East Philadelphia, won a seat in the House of Representatives in last November’s mid-term elections.

Mr Boyle was sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. this week before beginning work in his new congressional office which was once occupied by former President Lyndon B. Johnson.

He is the son of an emigrant from County Donegal but the previous generation of his family can be traced back to Easkey where his grandparents, Michael and Sheila Walsh hailed from before swapping their west Sligo home in favour of a move to the New World.

In an interview with the the Sligo Weekender last year, Rep Boyle explained how they were a big influence for him during his childhood.

“They were a big part of my life growing up. They lived just about a block away in the same neighbourhood in Philadelphia,” he said.

“Right after school my mum would still be at work so my brother and I would both go to my grandparents or Momma and Pappa as we called them. They were a big part of raising us and a big part of our upbringing,”.

Mr Boyle has visited both Sligo and Donegal in the past, with his last trip coming in 2011.

“I have been to Sligo three times. I went there first when I was eight years old in 1985, then I went over again in 2002 as part of a family trip. I was leaving my job and going off to graduate school so I took the chance to visit family in Sligo and Donegal,” Rep Boyle said.

“It was great to be back in Sligo and show my wife [Jennifer] where my grandparents were from,” he added.

Brendan Boyle took to his official Twitter account after being sworn in where he posted a photo of himself and his frather, Frank, accompanied by the text “Today is truly a dream come true and I am so glad I have my dad by my side.”

His younger brother Kevin is also an active politician and is currently a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives where Brendan also previously served, making them the only set of brothers ever to be simultaniously active in the House’s 300-year history.

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