US President Joe Biden has announced Claire Cronin as his nominee for the position of US Ambassador to Ireland.

Ms Cronin currently serves as a Representative, and as Majority Leader, in the state legislature of Massachusetts.

She is also a lawyer and campaigned for Mr Biden in Massachusetts during the 2020 presidential election.

Her nomination will now be sent to the US Senate where a confirmation hearing will take place. Senators will then vote on her appointment.

In a statement to RTÉ News, Ms Cronin welcomed her nomination.

She said: "I am deeply honoured to be nominated by President Biden for Ambassador to Ireland, especially given the President's and my own Irish roots.

"If confirmed, I look forward to serving as ambassador and working with our partners in Ireland on both the challenges and opportunities ahead of us."

Ms Cronin had been seen as the frontrunner to become the next US Ambassador to Ireland.

Other possible contenders for the role had included former US Senator Chris Dodd, lawyer Brian O'Dwyer, former US Ambassador to Portugal Elizabeth Frawley Bagley and Thomas O’Neill, son of the former House of Representatives speaker Tip O'Neill.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said it was "very welcome news".

"We look forward to welcoming her to Ireland," he said.

The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Democratic Congressman Richard Neal, said he was delighted that Ms Cronin had been nominated by President Biden.

"She made history by being the first woman to serve as Majority Leader in the Massachusetts Legislature, and once confirmed by the Senate, will play a significant in role in helping to strengthen the bonds between the United States and Ireland," Congressman Neal said.

"This is an important posting and that is why I look forward to working closely with the Ambassador-Designate on a range of issues to reinforce and expand our unique transatlantic partnership," he added.

Last week, the White House named nine ambassador picks for countries including Israel, Mexico, Sri Lanka and Paraguay.

It is not yet clear if President Biden will name a US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland.

Last month, 25 members of the United States Congress wrote to the US President calling on him to appoint a Northern Ireland Envoy.