Patricia Rooney, the wife of U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney, has given $250,000 to the Obama campaign split between the American Priorities Super Pac and American Bridge 21st Century, a group that does opposition research.
The ambassador, who owns the Pittsburgh Steelers, and whose support for Obama was critical in Pennsylvania in 2008 told the Sunday Times newspaper : “Over the past four years, we have seen first hand, President Obama’s effectiveness as a world leader. That is something very important to both Patricia and I. The rules of my government allow ambassadors and their spouses to make a contribution, which Patricia did.”
Rooney, one of the most beloved figures in American football, traces his Irish roots through his grandfather, Daniel Michael Rooney, who emigrated from Newry to Pittsburgh.
He is the grand-uncle of movie star Rooney Mara.
It was widely speculated that Rooney would resign early to support Obama’s re-election in Pennsylvania again but the president had been comfortably ahead in that state until very recently.
Despite the tightening it is unlikely that Rooney will resign to pitch in and help.
Other notable Irish Americans writing checks for Obama include “Irish Americans for a Democratic Victory” run by Stella O’Leary which has raised over $50,000 for the president.
Olivia Wilde, the Hollywood actress who has dual citizenship a gave $2,500 in June.
Rebecca Miller, daughter of Arthur Miller and a writer who is married to Daniel Day-Lewis and lives in Ireland has also donated several thousands.
Irish-based supporters of Obama held a fundraiser in Dublin last week but there was no reports on how much they raised.