US President Donald Trump with the bowl of Shamrock earlier this year. Brian Lawless

Taoiseach keen to make St Patrick's Day trip to the White House next year

In an interview with, Micheál Martin said the event is a “significant one for Ireland”.

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has signalled that he is keen to make the trip to the White House next March for the annual St Patrick’s Day events. 

In an interview with, Martin said the St Patrick’s Day celebration in the White House is “a significant one for Ireland” and is one that should be maintained.

This year, then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar had to cut short his St Patrick’s Day trip to the US due to the evolving coronavirus situation back home. 

Varadkar gave a national address about the nationwide lockdown in Ireland from opposite the White House on 12 March

When asked whether he is keen to make the trip Stateside next year, Martin said: 

“I think it is very important. All of that [meetings at the White House and Capitol Hill] creates a framework within which jobs can be created, which within Irish business can operate, in terms of exporting and importing.

“The connection and the Patrick’s Day event is a significant one for Ireland, not the occupant of the office in terms of the Taoiseach.”

Signalling that he does intend to make the trip, he said:

“It’s very, very important that we maintain that link, and that tradition, and obviously, it’s all very dependent on Covid, and everything else at the time next March. But we’re very keen as a government that key economic linkages are maintained.”

Foreign Direct Investment and economic connectivity needs to continue, said Martin.

“Likewise politically as well, irrespective of who is Taoiseach, we do need to be out there connecting on behalf of Ireland,” he said.

He said it is also very important that ministers get to go to other European cities. 

u-s-president-trump-hosts-irish-prime-minister-varadkar-for-st-patricks-day Shealah Craighead / White House Shealah Craighead / White House / White House

He dismissed any idea that the US president would be asked to Ireland instead next year, stating: “That’s a new one.”

The Taoiseach said maintaining links with the US was “vital in terms of Brexit”. 

He said Joe Biden’s recent intervention in terms of Brexit and reiterating that there would be be no trade deal between the UK and the US if the Good Friday Agreement was interfered with in any way, was welcome. 

He said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s similar stance on the issue was also very important. 

“Those are very important links that we will be anxious to try and maintain.”

Turning to politics across the water, Martin said he had a fascinating discussion with the US ambassador to Ireland Edward Crawford when he met him on Monday.

The Taoiseach was told it took the ambassador 17 months to be appointed.

“So the American system works slowly in terms of these issues,” said Martin, stating that it is “no big issue” that he hasn’t heard from US President Donald Trump since becoming Taoiseach.

Martin hasn’t spoken to US presidential candidate Joe Biden recently, but said he has met him before.

“He was the guy that initiated the first Patrick’s Day breakfast… that tradition, which Mike Pence is continuing. He [Biden] is very proud of his Irish roots.

“It will be a very interesting election. As Taoiseach, I can’t become involved in that. But I think it will be competitive. And it’ll be interesting as we get closer to November,” said Martin.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
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