The death of US Republican senator John McCain has gained international newspaper coverage around the world, and it may surprise people to know that he has direct family linkage to the Isle of Cumbrae.

Former Largs resident Karyn McDermott who helped McCain's Republican election bid to be President, told us in 2009 about the surprise local connection.

McCain, who was also a Prisoner of War in Vietnam for five years, was able to trace his marital lineage through two families - the McCains and the Youngs.

His great grandfather also called John Sidney McCain, married Elizabeth Young in 1877. Both were Scots Presbyterians.

The Youngs, of the Clan Lamont, were from Cumbrae.

McCain's roots came back to the Lamont family who emigrated to the States 200 years ago.

Former 'News' editor Drew Cochrane exclusively reported in 2009: "Karyn, who was a member of the local Conservative party, also had the pleasure of meeting with Mrs Roberta McCain, 96 years old mum of candidate John. Karyn showed her the front page article from the Largs News and she was so pleased and astounded that a Scots newspaper published it."

John McCain first entered the public spotlight as a Navy fighter pilot during Vietnam. Taken prisoner after his plane was shot down, he suffered five and a half years of torture and confinement before his release in 1973. He refused the opportunity of an early release after his captors learnt that his father was a famous admiral, knowing that news of an admiral's son receiving special treatment would undermine the morale of the U.S war effort of less privileged US soldiers and POWs.

In 1986, he began his long career as the U.S. senator from Arizona.

McCain ran for president on the Republican ticket in 2008, losing out to Barack Obama, but has remained a powerful voice in American politics ever since, and has been a strong critic of Donald Trump's controversial regime.

Having previously fought off skin cancer successfully before, McCain died at the weekend at the age of 81 after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer, gaining tributes from around the world including British PM Theresa May, who described him as a 'great statesman and friend of the United Kingdom'.