The son of a west Donegal man who emigrated to America at age nineteen has received the Democratic endorsement for a seat in the Pennsylvania state legislature and will be the Democratic Party’s candidate in November.
Brendan Boyle is the son of Francis, who emigrated to America from Glencolmcille, and Eileen, a lifelong Philadelphian. Both generations still spend holidays regularly at home with relatives in Glencolmcille and Donegal.
Francis Boyle worked in the ACME Warehouse in South Philadelphia for 24 years and was a member of Teamster’s Local 169. He now works for SEPTA. Brendan’s mother, Eileen, is a lifelong Philadelphian. She has been a school crossing guard and member of AFSCME District Council 33 for the past 18 years.
Brendan, who studied at Harvard and Notre Dame Universities, remains proud of his Donegal roots. “Two summers ago I watched Donegal play at Croke Park,” he says. “I inherited a strong rooting interest for Donegal from my father.”
“I still remember watching Donegal win the Sam McGuire Cup in the All-Ireland Final in Ninety-Two. My father and I watched the game together via satellite from Ireland.”
Brendan’s sporting interests also extend beyond the GAA. While a student at Notre Dame, Brendan he also auditioned for a sportscaster position at 640 WVFI-AM. He won the job, and for three years, broadcast Notre Dame football and basketball games, making him literally “the voice of the Fighting Irish.”
After graduating with a degree in government, Brendan was hired by American Management Systems (AMS), one of the world’s top consulting firms for three years, before deciding to leave business and return to academia to further study government and public policy. He applied to graduate school at Harvard University, and was accepted into the master’s program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. While at Harvard, Brendan studied public policy under leading academics, former congressmen, and world leaders.
“Besides my personal link to Ireland, I have a strong interest in Irish affairs, both in terms of the peace process and domestic Irish politics,” he says. “In the 1990s I was a member of an organization that lobbied the Clinton White House to play an active role in the peace process. Through this work, I was able to meet Bertie Ahern, John Hume, Gerry Adams, and David Trimble.”
“I have recently won the Democratic endorsement for a seat in the Pennsylvania state legislature. I will be the Democratic Party’s candidate in November. In American politics, a seat in the state legislature is generally seen as the entry level or stepping stone to other offices.”