| 4.8°C Dublin

Green light Taoiseach's St Patrick’s Day White House trip in planning as Joe Biden expected to visit Ireland

Under the plans being discussed a small delegation will travel to Washington for a scaled back State visit to coincide with St Patrick’s Day.

Close

A Joe Biden visit to Ireland is likely during his presidency, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said

A Joe Biden visit to Ireland is likely during his presidency, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said

A Joe Biden visit to Ireland is likely during his presidency, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said

A visit by Taoiseach Micheál Martin to the White House is a “key objective” of the Government’s St Patrick’s Day plans, Independent.ie can reveal.

As Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President, it can be revealed advance planning is underway by Government officials and diplomats to ensure Mr Martin can travel to Washington to meet his counterpart in March.

Under the plans being discussed a small delegation will travel to Washington for a scaled back State visit to coincide with St Patrick’s Day.

Details of the visit are still at a planning stage but a Government source said a meeting between Mr Martin and Mr Biden in the Oval Office is a “key objective” for those planning international events linked to Ireland’s national holiday.

“There is a desire that the bilateral meeting between the Taoiseach and President Biden goes ahead as scheduled and detailed discussions are taking place,” the source said.

Close

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Taoiseach Micheal Martin (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Central to the proposed visit will be a meeting in the Oval Office between the two leaders and their advisers.

There are doubts over whether the famous Shamrock Ceremony in the East Room of the White House can be held but consideration is being given to holding the event.

However, it is unlikely that other major events such as the Ireland Fund dinner and a traditional function hosted by the Irish Ambassador to the US will go ahead.

Last week, Mr Martin said: "When I invited President-elect Biden to Ireland he just said ‘try and keep me out’ so it won’t be any lack of enthusiasm.”

"But I think we'll be practical about it. It’s early days yet. "Obviously Covid will have a significant impact on all bilateral relations, contacts and meetings in the coming while,” he added.

In the Dáil today, Mr Martin indicated a visit by President Biden to Ireland was likely.

“We look forward to welcoming him to Ireland during his presidency,” Mr Martin said.

He said he wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate incoming President Joe Biden on behalf of the Government “and to wish him “the very very best as he begins his journey as President of the United States.”

Mr Biden has a very long record as a friend of Ireland “and has made no secret of that affection for this country,” he said.

“We look forward to welcoming him to Ireland during his presidency.”

Labour Party spokesman Aodhán Ó Riordáin echoed the Taoiseach’s sentiments, calling Mr Biden “one of our own.”

Mr Ó Riordáin made a speech four years ago denouncing outgoing President Trump as a racist - a video that was picked up the US media and which speedily racked up more than 100 million views on social media.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Independent.ie


Privacy