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Joe Biden on a visit to Áras an Uachtaráin with President Michael D Higgins in 2016. Sam Boal/

Irish leaders congratulate Joe Biden on presidential win

Biden will be the 46th president of the US having secured the state of Pennsylvania.

MESSAGES OF SUPPORT are pouring from Ireland to the United States as Joe Biden is set to become the next president of the US.

Biden will be the 46th president of the US after securing the state of Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, pushing him past the 270 needed to win the presidency.

Irish leaders have offered their support and well wishes to Biden after the announcement of his projected win.

President Michael D. Higgins said that “today, I have conveyed my best wishes to President-elect Joe Biden, wishing him and the American people every good fortune for his term in office and congratulating him, and congratulating Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on her historic achievement”.

“Sabina and I, and the staff at Áras an Uachtaráin, have the warmest memories of Joe Biden’s two visits to us,” Higgins said.

“The bonds between the peoples of Ireland and the United States are close and strong, and I look forward to our two countries working together to rebuild the much-needed trust in the methods and institutions of national and international solidarity and cooperation,” he said.

That solidarity is indispensable, if we are to address the urgent challenges of our time, including such diverse issues as the need to address the cause and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, global poverty, hunger, migration and the digitisation of our economies, all issues on which the President-elect has expressed a commitment.”

“On behalf of the people of Ireland, I wish President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris every success in the years ahead,” Higgins said.

90422535 Sabina Higgins, President Michael D. Higgins and Joe Biden at Áras an Uachtaráin in 2016. Sam Boal Sam Boal

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has offered his congratulations to Biden following his win.

Martin said that he wanted to offer the “warmest congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as the 46th President of the United States”.

“Ireland takes pride in Joe Biden’s election, just as we are proud of all the generations of Irish women and Irish men and their ancestors whose toil and genius have enriched the diversity that powers America,” Martin said. 

This is a particularly special day for the people of County Louth and of County Mayo who count President-elect Biden among their own.”

“Joe Biden has always been a stalwart friend and supporter of Ireland, including of the prosperity, stability and opportunity made possible by the Good Friday Agreement, to which he has pledged his ongoing steadfast support,” Martin said.  

“I also wish to congratulate Kamala Harris on her election as Vice-President and recognise the tremendous significance of her election to the role,” he said.

“I am greatly looking forward to working with the new Administration in the period ahead in progressing international peace and security.”

“I also intend to work closely with the new Administration and the United States Congress to pursue comprehensive immigration reform, an issue that is so important to tens of thousands of Irish people making a significant contribution to America.” 

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said: ”I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on winning the US Presidential election and I extend to him and to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris my best wishes in meeting the challenges facing the new administration.” 

McDonald addressed the role of the US administration amid talks between the UK and Britain on a trade deal post-Brexit.

“Joe Biden is proud of his Irish roots and is a long-standing friend of Ireland. During the Presidential election campaign, and throughout his time in office, he has acted to promote and protect peace, progress and the Good Friday Agreement,” McDonald said.

He comes into office at a time of threat from the British government, with Brexit and their refusal to honour agreements looming large. The President-elect and both parties in Congress have made clear there will be no trade agreement with Britain unless the Good Friday Agreement is safeguarded in all its parts.”

“I look forward to working with the new President and his administration to ensure that the Good Friday Agreement is protected and its transformative potential fully realised,” McDonald said.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar tweeted his congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

“Our world needs American leadership and true American values. We know you can give it,” Varakdar wrote.

“Hope you can both make it to Ireland soon.”

Social Democrats spokesperson for International Affairs Cian O’Callaghan said that Biden’s win is an “important victory for the values of inclusion and equality and a rejection of the divide politics of President Donald Trump”.

“I know many Irish people will be breathing a sigh of relief at Joe Biden’s victory. The last four years have been hard to watch as American democracy declined. The racist appeasement, sexist rhetoric and attacks on the free press from President Trump have all been deeply disturbing,” O’Callaghan said.

“The election of Joe Biden signals a much-needed change in direction. Kamala Harris is set to smash a number of glass ceilings by becoming the first female Vice President, as well as the first Black and South Asian-American Vice President. This is a moment of significant progress to be celebrated,” he said.

Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election was solidified in the last hour after he won the state of Pennsylvania.

After the result of a batch of 3,000 votes were announced this afternoon in Pennsylvania, Biden increased his lead to 49.6% in the state over 49.1% for Trump.

Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral college votes put Biden at 284 to Trump’s 214. The benchmark for a win is 270.

Biden is leading in other states that are still tallying their votes, including Nevada and Georgia. 

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