Claire Cronin has been confirmed by the US Senate to be the next US Ambassador to Ireland. The Irish American was nominated by President Joe Biden back in June.
Cronin, who was first reported as being considered for the ambassadorial role here on IrishCentral, will now become the 25th US Ambassador to Ireland and 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.
Cronin’s nomination was among a number of confirmations made by the US Senate on Saturday, December 18. The Senate approval comes nearly two months after her nomination was approved by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on October 19.
Cronin, 61, is currently the House Majority Leader in the Massachusetts House of Representatives; a special election is expected to be called to fill Cronin’s seat, though she has yet to say when she will officially resign.
In a statement upon her approval on Saturday, Cronin said: “I am looking forward to the work ahead, but for now my focus is on the work of the House of Representatives and for the people of the Eleventh Plymouth District.”
Cronin will take up her role at the US Embassy at the Ballsbridge Chancery in Dublin, Ireland, while her official residence is set to be Deerfield Residence in Dublin's Phoenix Park. As part of becoming the Ambassador to Ireland, Cronin will have to present her credentials to the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.
Ireland’s Ambassador to the US Daniel Mulhall offered Cronin his congratulations upon her approval:
I wish to extend my warmest congratulations to the new US Ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin. I look forward to working with her in deepening the already unique, multi-faceted relationship that flourishes between our two countries. https://t.co/eEafOZ37ER— Daniel Mulhall (@DanMulhall) December 18, 2021
As did the Irish Consulate Boston:
We are absolutely delighted at Claire Cronin's confirmation as Ambassador to Ireland. Congratulations to one of Massachusetts's very own! 🇮🇪🇺🇸 https://t.co/EigFLpwe98— IrishConsulateBoston (@IrelandBoston) December 20, 2021
Laoise Moore, the consul general of Ireland to New England, told the Boston Globe on Saturday: “I’m absolutely delighted that she has been confirmed and absolutely wish her all the best when she takes up her new role."
Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, who offered an endorsement for Cronin during her hearing with the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, congratulated Cronin upon her confirmation:
The Senate has confirmed Massachusetts State Representative Claire Cronin as our next Ambassador to Ireland. Her commitment to public service, diplomatic acumen, and work ethic are unmatched and will serve her well in Dublin. Congratulations Claire!— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) December 18, 2021
During her testimonial before the 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.”