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Taoiseach still hopes to get to the White House for St Patrick's Day 2021

When the Taoiseach invited Joe Biden to Ireland, he replied: ‘Just try and keep me out’.”

US-President Elect Joe Biden when he visited Ireland in 2016.
US-President Elect Joe Biden when he visited Ireland in 2016.
Image: Sam Boal

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said he would like to be able to make the trip to the White House for St Patrick’s Day next year.

He told TheJournal.ie that the trip, and whether it goes ahead in 2021, could be dependent on what the situation is with Covid-19 next year. 

“It’ll be very dependent on the status of Covid in the United States, internationally and in Ireland. When I invited President Biden to Ireland, he said ‘just try and keep me out’,” said Martin, who added that he looks forward to meeting the US President Elect.

“Yes, I would love to be able to get to Washington DC on St Patrick’s Day, but we’ll have to see in terms of where Covid is,” he added.

The Taoiseach said he has met Biden previously, when he was US Vice President under Barack Obama.

“He has a genuine affection for [Ireland], and he’s a multilateralist at heart. He wants to reset the relationship with the European Union. He has made very clear to me on day one he wants to rejoin the Paris accord, that he wants to rejoin the World Health Organisation (WHO),” he said.

“And he’s a friend of Ireland, in terms of trade, that he doesn’t want anything in the context of Brexit undermining the Good Friday Agreement. I think it will be a very interesting year from the policy perspective – in terms of resetting relations with Europe and hopefully the United Kingdom. Basically marrying the alliance between the US, Europe and the UK, who after all, notwithstanding their differences, have common values in terms of democracy, freedom of speech, and all of that,” said Martin.

biden-in-st-patricks-day-parade oe Biden and his security detail literally running during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2012. Source: DPA/PA Images

Important relationship

The Taoiseach had previously said  in September that he is keen to make the trip Stateside next year.

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In an interview with TheJournal.ie two months ago, 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.

He also said at the time that it is very important that ministers get to go to other European cities for St Patrick’s Day.

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

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