FROM this side of the pond the US presidential race seems very, very far away – but the mayhem of the Clinton-Trump contest hits closer to home than you might think.
The Clintons’ relationship with Ireland is well documented thanks to their work with the Northern Irish peace process.
But Donald Trump’s connection with the Emerald Isle is much lesser known.
Whatever the result on November 8, Ireland had a hand to play – however small a hand it might have been.
So what Irish connections are there exactly?
Trump’s sons were raised by Irish nannies
Donald Trump’s two sons have been highly vocal in their support for their father on the campaign trail.
Despite the vitriol between themselves and the Clinton campaign, Hillary Clinton praised the Trump children at the close of the second presidential debate.
Perhaps she should instead have praised two Irish women, who raised Eric and Donald Jr. whilst their parents travelled the world striking deals.
Dorothy Curry from Cavan and the late Bridget Carroll of Kerry were big influences in the lives of the Trump children.
“The woman who raised us was Irish,” explained the brothers in a 2014 interview with the Irish Independent.
“Dorothy Curry from Co. Cavan. We spent a lot of time here (in Ireland) growing up and she’s an amazing woman.
“We heard more about Ireland than any other country growing up.”
Clinton is winning with Irish Americans... just
Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton released her 'Irish platform' – aimed at securing Irish votes in key states such as New York, Illinois and California during her run for the Democratic Nomination.
In the platform, Clinton emphasised her record of working on Irish issues, along with mentioning her Hall of Fame membership given to her by the Irish America magazine for her work with Northern Ireland.
The first line of Clinton’s appeal to Irish Americans read: “Hillary has a record of standing by the Irish American community.”
To date, Donald Trump has not yet appealed for Irish Americans in the same way.
A poll conducted recently by the Irish Central website found that 52 per cent of the Irish Americans polled would be voting for Clinton.
But her praise of Gerry Adams made her team nervous...
A speechwriter for Hillary Clinton complained that she “gave more love to Gerry Adams than I might have liked” in a speech last year.
Dan Schwerin made the criticism in an email to other Clinton Aides in March last year, after Clinton spoke at the Irish America Hall of Fame event in New York.
“She mostly riffed about the peace process in Northern Ireland,” Schwerin wrote.
“She gave more love to Gerry Adams than I might have liked given his recent legal troubles, but it was in the context of Bill Clinton granting his visa in 1994, so hopefully okay.”
The email was released on whistleblowing website WikiLeaks last month in the latest of a string of now-public emails which have caused a stir in the US.
Trump’s Irish-American campaign connections
The grandmother of Trump running mate Mike Pence came to the United States from Doonbeg, Co. Clare – which just so happens to be the location of a Trump golf resort.
The Indiana governor’s grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, also came from Clare. Cawley arrived at Ellis Island in April 1923 and became a bus driver in Chicago.
In a shake up of his chief staff back in August, Trump brought is Kellyanne Conway as his new campaign manager.
Conway was born Kellyanne Fitzpatrick in New Jersey to a father from Ireland, who owned a small trucking company.
As part of the same shakeup, Stephen K. Bannon came in as the new Trump Campaign CEO.
“I come from a blue-collar, Irish Catholic, pro-Kennedy, pro-union family of Democrats,” Bannon said recently in an interview with Bloomberg.
A Trump victory would make Paddy Power cry
After her performance in the third and final presidential debate, Hillary Clinton’s numbers in the polls were surging – and she looked for the first time a sure bet.
Then, the FBI announced that they were reopening the investigation into her alleged mishandling of confidential emails whilst Secretary of State.
Her numbers dipped. But the damage was done for Irish betting firm Paddy Power, who had already paid out over $1million in winnings to bets on a Clinton a win.
At the time a fortnight ago, Paddy Power called Mrs Clinton a “nailed on certainty” to make the White House and dubbed Trump’s chances “as patchy as his tan.”
Since then as many as 91 per cent of new bets have been placed on a Trump win, and Paddy Power have started to sweat.
“We’ve already paid out on Hillary. Uh-oh,” the bookmakers cheekily quipped on Twitter this week.
“Trump will be leaving us with some very expensive egg on our face if he does pull it off,” a spokesman said in a statement.