February 25, 2021
The US Embassy in the Ballsbridge neighborhood of Dublin.
Irish Boston is abuzz over prospects for a hometown candidate for US Ambassador to Ireland.
While recognizing that President Biden certainly has some more urgent issues on his mind, there's a consensus here that there must be more than one Bostonian who would be a good fit for the post.
So far, here are some names that are being mentioned: Former Senator Paul Kirk, former Police Commissioner Kathy O’Toole, former Lt. Governor and current public affairs leader Tommy O’Neill, Democratic strategist and philanthropist John Cullinane, New England Council CEO Jim Brett, Harvard Kennedy School’s Richard Cavanagh and Bank of America’s Anne Finucane.
Massachusetts has generated talent for the top diplomatic before: the late Richard Egan, former CSO of EMC, served as US Ambassador under President George W. Bush from 2001-2003. Jean Kennedy-Smith, sister of JFK, was the ambassador under President Bill Clinton. And the late Margaret Heckler, a former Congresswoman from Massachusetts, was posted in Dublin under Ronald Reagan.
Whoever is named to the post by the Biden-Harris administration will be asked to oversee construction of a new Embassy complex in the Ballsbridge section of Dublin. This month, the US government agreed to purchase the property which once was the site of the old Jury’s Hotel, located across the street from the current embassy campus. Pending final approvals, the construction is expected to take at least 36 months to complete.