Claire D. Cronin has been sworn in as 25th US Ambassador to Ireland today, January 19 in her native Massachusetts.
Cronin was met with enthusiastic applause when she entered the Chamber of the Massachusetts House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon, where she has served since 2013. In February 2021, she became the first female to become the Majority Leader of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Ronald Mariano introduced Cronin in the Chamber on Wednesday afternoon, and thanked her for her service.
"We will all be very proud as you assume your new post as Ambassador to Ireland," Representative Mariano said.
Attorney William Bonaccorso administered the ambassadorial oath to Cronin, who was flanked by her husband Ray and their two daughters Cara and Kerry. After being sworn in. Cronin was met with standing applause and cheers in the Chamber.
Massachusetts House Majority Leader Claire Cronin has been sworn in as US Ambassador-Designate to Ireland this evening during a formal session in the House chamber. 🇮🇪🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/zs22XHtpIf— U.S. Embassy Dublin (@USEmbassyDublin) January 19, 2022
“Today is a day I never anticipated," Cronin said in her remarks after being sworn in. "It is bittersweet, to say the least. I have always been better at saying hello than saying goodbye.”
Cronin told her colleagues that she “will be watching all of the good things from afar.”
She concluded her remarks by saying: “Today, I’m leaving a place I love and a job I love for a chance to serve our country as the United States Ambassador to Ireland.
“I am grateful to be able to serve as the personal representative of President Biden, a person I admire and respect, a profoundly decent human being and good man.
“I’m looking forward to serving in Ireland ad building upon the strong bonds that exist between our two countries.
“I look forward to serving with the fine men and women at Embassy Dublin.
“To leave here is bittersweet, but I do it with great hope and optimism. I will miss you all.”
Cronin was sworn in the day after she submitted her official resignation as Member and Majority Leader of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, which took effect on January 18 at 11:59 pm.
In her resignation letter, which was read aloud before she took her oath on Wednesday, Cronin wrote in part: “It is not easy to voluntarily leave a position you love. And I have loved every day I have served as a Member of the House of Representatives. So, it is with a sense of wistfulness, that I respectfully submit this letter of resignation from the House of Representatives.
“My sense of wistfulness, however, is tempered by both a sense of enthusiasm and humility as I prepare to assume my duties as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to my ancestral homeland, the Republic of Ireland.”
Cronin, who was first reported as being considered for the ambassadorial role here on IrishCentral, was nominated by President Joe Biden, who she campaigned for in Massachusetts, in June and was later confirmed by the US Senate in December.
During her testimonial before the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee on September 29, Cronin spoke of her Irish roots: “When my grandfather left Donegal for the promise that America held, I can’t help but wonder what he would have thought if he knew his granddaughter would one day be testifying before this esteemed committee as the nominee to be the US Ambassador to Ireland.
“The Irish first arrived on our shores before the founding of our nation. Their significant contributions, sacrifice, and hard work helped define the American spirit and shape our success today. Over 30 million Americans claim Irish heritage. The historical, cultural, and economic ties between the United States and Ireland are undeniable and will forever unite our countries.
“This strong relationship is demonstrated within my own family. We are blessed and forever enriched by the addition of my sister-in-law Breffni, who was born and raised in Dublin.”
Cronin outlined her commitments should be confirmed by US Senate, including protecting the safety and security of Americans in Ireland and advancing “the shared values of that are the bedrock of our enduring ties.”
Cronin is the 25th US Ambassador to Ireland and is the first female to hold the position since Jean Kennedy Smith, who served from 1993 - 1998. The last US Ambassador to Ireland, Edward Crawford, served from 2019 - 2021.