Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Joe Biden speakin in Ballina, Co. Mayo last month. RollingNews.ie
Special Relationship

Joe Biden says he came to Ireland to make sure 'the Brits didn't screw around'

The US President was referring to Britain’s commitments to Northern Ireland.

US PRESIDENT JOE Biden has said that he came to Ireland to “make sure the Brits didn’t screw around”. 

Speaking in reference to Northern Ireland and ongoing efforts to restore the Stormont executive, Biden made the tongue-in-cheek remark at a Democratic Party fundraiser in New York yesterday. 

Biden also spoke extensively of his visit to his mother’s ancestral home in Ballina. 

He spoke about his trip to Co Mayo, despite saying he “hadn’t planned on talking about it” at the event, during a speech on the topic of equality.

Biden said: “I got to go back, [it's] not what I had planned on talking about, but I got to go back to Ireland for the Irish Accords, to make sure they weren’t – the Brits didn”t screw around and Northern Ireland didn’t walk away from their commitments.”

“And I went back to my mother’s mother’s ancestral home in Ballina, which is in County Mayo in Ireland. And at 9:15, on a rainy night on the River Moy, in front of a cathedral, which it turned out they went back and dug up records showing my great-great-grandfather provided the bricks to build this – the – to hold up the steeple – there were somewhere between 28- and 40,000 people in the rain standing there.”

“I guess the point of it is this: We’ve all been through – and whether you are Greek or Irish – you went through times when you weren’t respected very much, when we were treated [as though] we were somehow fundamentally different than other people,” he added. 

The US President went on to say that it “wasn’t just Irish or African Americans, a lot of people went through it”. 

Biden went on to say that America is “the only nation in the world where we are not based on our ethnicity.”

“We are not based on our religion. We’re based on the notion of an idea,” Biden added, going on to say that the idea is that “all men and women are created equal”. 

Last month, Biden embarked on a four day round trip of Ireland. He landed in the North and met with Stormont leaders as well as the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, before travelling to Dublin. 

He also visited Carlingford and Dundalk, and made his final speech in Ballina, where his mother’s family hails from. 

Biden frequently speaks fondly about his Irish roots, last month he said that arriving in Ireland felt like “coming home”. 

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
59
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel