The past is orange, not emerald for Senator John McCain
US presidential hopeful John McCain has always been popular with Sinn Fein-sympathising Irish-American voters because of his support for immigrants’ rights. So they will be perplexed to now learn McCain’s ancestor was one of the first Orange Men and fought alongside King Billy!
Senator McCain, 71, whose ancestors came from Armagh, has repeatedly played up his Irish roots and descent from Captain John Young. But he might be a little more coy about admitting that another ancestor – great great great great grandfather Captain Dixie Coddington – was a trusted officer of William of Orange who fought alongside King Billy to defeat James ll at the Battle of the Boyne.
Irish historian Sean Murphy, who has just uncovered McCain’s Orange Man link, explains: “The Coddingtons were a very wealthy Irish family so they weren’t hard to find in the records.”
Murphy, the University of Dublin’s genealogist, says his discovery is far more significant than the revelations that McCain’s chief rival Barack Obama is also descended from Irish stock. “Obama’s ancestor was a shoemaker, whereas McCain’s was an officer serving with King William,” he points out.