An 80-year-old Irish American, Ohio businessman has finally been named as the new United States Ambassador to Ireland, 1 year and 234 days after Donald Trump was appointed President.
United States government officials have confirmed that an Ohio businessman, Edward Crawford, has been put forward for approval at Cabinet as the new US Ambassador to Ireland. The 80-year-old Irish American has been part of a vetting process for some time, according to reports.
The announcement comes just one day after it was announced that Donald Trump would not be making his planned November 2018 visit to Ireland.
Rumors of Crawford’s appointed had been circulating since last year when President Donald Trump’s initial choice, Florida businessman Brian Burns, was forced to withdraw from the position due to ill health.
It is expected that by Wednesday (Sept 12) Crawford will be appointed to his new position as Ambassador to Ireland.
The position had been left vacant since January 2017, when president Barack Obama left office, and the former Ambassador Kevin O’Malley left the Phoenix Park, Dublin, residence. Since then the role of the US Ambassador had been filled by the US Chargé D’affaires Reece Smyth.
Crawford was a leading fundraiser for Donald Trump during the campaign in the critical state of Ohio, which Trump won easily.
Speaking about Trump during the campaign, Crawford said, “We need a positive leader. We need someone that’s going to help us make the changes necessary to put us back on track so that everyone has a chance.”
Crawford, a self-professed “serial entrepreneur,” is Chairman and CEO of Park Ohio Holdings Corp. and The Crawford Group, both headquartered in Cleveland. With $1.4 billion in sales worldwide, they employ 4,800 associates in the U.S., China, Japan, India, Australia and Ireland. Park Ohio specializes in integrated logistics systems and manufactured products. He is a huge basketball fan.
Crawford’s grandparents were Irish immigrants from Cork. His grandmother, Catherine McCarthy, originally came from Newmarket, Boherbue. In 1948 his father, an electrician, together with Crawford’s mother and two brothers wanted to move to California. During the move as they were traveling on Route 20 in Ohio, their car broke down. His mother found an apartment for the family in Cleveland Heights and the family stayed in Ohio, where Crawford grew up.
Crawford, who also created the Irish Cultural Garden in Cleveland, was the first non-Mayo person to be named person of the year by the Mayo Association, which has a powerful presence in the Irish community in Cleveland.
At the time (2014) he stated, “I think it’s a wonderful, wonderful decision by the Mayo Society to step out and decide to be more inclusive here. There are other great counties in Ireland. I think it gives the Mayo Society the opportunity to reach out to a broader group of individuals that, in one way or another, have contributed to the Irish sense of themselves.”