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Here are Taoiseach Micheál Martin's three-day virtual St Patrick's Day plans with the US

The Taoiseach’s St Patrick’s Day programme will begin on Monday, 15 March.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin
Taoiseach Micheál Martin
Image: Julien Behal via RollingNews.ie

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN is to participate in a programme of virtual events with the United States over three days to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. 

The traditional high-level political engagements in Washington DC will take place on St Patrick’s Day, 17 March, itself. Martin will virtually meet with US President Joe Biden.

The Taoiseach will participate in all events over the course of the three days from Government Buildings.

Discussions between Martin and Biden are expected to cover a broad range of issues, including Ireland’s ties with the US, combatting Covid-19 and driving recovery, and shared global challenges such as climate change. 

The Taoiseach will present President Biden with the traditional Shamrock Bowl, extending St Patrick’s Day greetings from the people of Ireland to the US. 

Martin will also meet with US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Both will then engage with the inaugural class of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows, 20 American students from minority backgrounds who have been selected to visit Ireland later this year, following in Douglass’s footsteps 175 years ago.

Martin will meet with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and with members of the US Congress Friends of Ireland Caucus, who mark their 40th anniversary on St Patrick’s Day.

Three-day event

The Taoiseach’s St Patrick’s Day programme will begin on Monday, 15 March with a policy address to the Washington DC-based Brookings Institution in which he will set out his thinking on managing relations on and off the island in the post-Brexit context.

That evening, the Taoiseach will speak at the US launch of From Whence I Came: The Kennedy Legacy, Ireland & America, edited by Brian Murphy & Donnacha Ó Beacháin.

The event will also include a panel discussion with Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the UN and Biden Administration nominee to lead USAID; Congressman Richie Neal, Co-Chair of the Friends of Ireland Caucus; and former Massachusetts Congressman and Kennedy family member Joe Kennedy III.

The first day will close with an address by the Taoiseach to Boston’s Irish American Partnership St Patrick’s Day Celebration.

biden-harris-speak-on-american-rescue-plan-from-white-house US President Joe Biden Source: DPA/PA Images

On Tuesday, 16 March, the Taoiseach will will attend roundtables hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise Ireland, and the IDA, meeting senior US and Irish executives.

He will also present Science Foundation Ireland’s St Patrick’s Medals to Vincent Roche – CEO of Analog Devices – and to William Campbell of Drew University, and an Irish Nobel Laureate.

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The Taoiseach will speak at an event to mark the renewal of an Ireland/Northern Ireland/US cancer consortium, which aims to enhance cancer research and care on the island of Ireland and in the US through cross-border and transatlantic collaborations in cancer research and education.

Later that evening, Martin will speak at a public event hosted by the Congressional Friends of Ireland Caucus in association with the Pat & John Hume Foundation, and the Embassy of Ireland commemorating John Hume and the pivotal role he played in garnering US support for the peace process.

Speaking in advance his virtual visit, Martin said: “The period around St Patrick’s Day is when we traditionally celebrate the remarkable relationship between the US and Ireland. It is a relationship which remains strong and positive, increasingly balanced economically, and covers a wide and growing range of shared interests.

“I look forward greatly to meeting President Biden, who has a very special connection with Ireland, and to bring him greetings from Ireland on this his first St Patrick’s Day in office as President.

“I will thank him personally for his unstinting support for Ireland over many years, including in recent times for his support in helping to secure a positive outcome in the Brexit negotiations, as we face into the task now of making those new arrangements work well.”

It had been confirmed last month that Martin would not travel to the US for the celebrations. 

It was also confirmed that Biden will not be hosting foreign counterparts at the White House for at least a few months underlining the administration’s strict adherence to Covid protocols.

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