Exactly four years after Joe Biden congratulated Rob Kearney on Ireland’s historic first victory over the All Blacks in Chicago, he has returned the gesture, congratulating his cousin on winning election to the office of the President of the United States.
Biden wrote in 2016 ‘Congrats to cousin Rob Kearney on the Bidens. Irish Rugby’s 1st win over New Zealand in 111 years. History made in Chicago.”
Now four years on – the span of an election or Rugby World Cup cycle, depending on your inclination – the former Leinster fullback was finally able to return the congratulations.
While the election hasn’t yet been officially called, Kearney reached out to cousin Joe on Twitter, posting: “Congrats to you Mr President.”
Congrats to you Mr President ? https://t.co/01pVm0dosu
— Rob Kearney (@KearneyRob) November 6, 2020
Biden’s family lineage hails from the Cooley Peninsula in Couth Louth in Ireland, which he visited in 2016. The then vice-president met both Kearney brothers – Rob and Dave – and they broke bread over lunch at Fitzpatricks restaurant on the Carlingford Road.
In an interview with TV3 at the time, Kearney explained the connection: “It started off as quite loose and a weird connection and then Joe came to Ireland on a state visit and myself a Dave met him and then he invited the two of us over to The White House. We went over in the summer and met him there, and the relationship has gone from strength to strength.
“It was pretty cool. I spoke to him after the game and he had watched it. He’s actually a pretty big rugby fan.”
Kearney hung up his boots last month after a stellar career with Leinster, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions. The 2012 European Player of the Year lifted the European Rugby Champions Cup four times with Leinster, as well six PRO14 titles and the European Challenge Cup, and has recently signed a one year deal to play for the Western Force in Australia.
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