#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 6°C Thursday 25 February 2021
Advertisement

A virtual shamrock ceremony? Taoiseach says details of Biden meeting still being ironed out

The tradition began back in 1956 and has become an annual fixture in more recent decades.

Image: Brian Lawless

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said the Irish ambassador is in touch with White House officials about how the US and Ireland will mark St Patrick’s Day. 

The Taoiseach last week confirmed that he will not be travelling Stateside this year for the annual celebrations with the US President due to the ongoing concerns about Covid-19. 

The Washington tradition began back in 1956 and has become an annual fixture in more recent decades.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Martin said: “We will mark the occasion of St Patrick’s Day, obviously virtually.”

“The precise details haven’t been ironed out yet.”

The Irish-US relationship is important, Martin stressed – adding that Joe Biden is the most Irish-American president since John F Kennedy. 

When asked if there might be a virtual passing over of the traditional bowl of shamrock, he responded:

“There could be, there could.”

He said it would be best to leave the details to “those with imaginations to devise the appropriate way to mark it on this occasion – but we will mark it”.

Whenever Biden does travel from the US for the first time as president, Martin said he would like it to be a trip to Ireland.

“We would love to have him in Ireland. We would give him a very warm welcome.”

“There is a standing invitation to him and he is very keen to come to Ireland.”

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

So far, the Irish government is very impressed with Biden’s policies such as rejoining the Paris Accord, his support for the WHO, as well as supporting the Covax vaccine scheme “in contrast to his predecessor”, said Martin.

The Taoiseach said the Covax programme was an essential project and would ensure developing countries also get the vaccine – a factor that would also help prevent future mutation of the virus.

While he said Ireland is at the early stages of its vaccination programme, as part of the EU commitment, Ireland has also agreed to contribute to developing countries.  

Biden will not be hosting foreign counterparts at the White House for at least a few months, his spokesperson said earlier this week, underlining the administration’s strict adherence to Covid protocols.

“It will be a couple of months before the president has an in-person or invites a foreign leader to meet in person here at the White House,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

In an interview with TheJournal.ie yesterday, the Taoiseach also spoke about how there would be regular reviews of the level of restrictions in place after the schools return at the beginning of March.

Read next:

COMMENTS (41)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel