Biden announces visit to Ireland, confirms Mayo public address

Biden Announces Visit To Ireland, Confirms Mayo Public Address
Joe Biden, © PA Wire/PA Images
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Jonathan McCambridge, PA

US president Joe Biden’s visit Ireland from April 11th to 14th, it has been confirmed.

Mr Biden will make a public address in Co Mayo next week "to celebrate the deep historic ties", the White House confirmed.


His visit to Northern Ireland will “mark the tremendous progress” since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement 25 years ago, the White House added.

Mr Biden will also visit the Republic to discuss “close co-operation on shared global challenges”.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed the visit would last from April 11th to 14th and would take in Belfast, Dublin, Louth and Mayo.

She said: “President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will travel to the United Kingdom and Ireland from April 11th-14th.



“President Biden will first travel to Belfast, Northern Ireland, from April 11-12 to mark the tremendous progress since the signing of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement 25 years ago and to underscore the readiness of the United States to support Northern Ireland’s vast economic potential to the benefit of all communities.


“The President will then travel to Ireland from April 12th-14th.

“He will discuss our close co-operation on the full range of shared global challenges.

“He will also hold various engagements, including in Dublin, County Louth and County Mayo, where he will deliver an address to celebrate the deep, historic ties that link our countries and people.”

The public speech in Ballina is expected to be the last enagegment before Mr Biden returns to the US.


The president is also likely to address a joint sitting of the Houses of the Dáil and Seanad on Thursday, April 13th, Oireachtas sources told The Irish Times.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tweeted that it would be a “privilege and an hour” to welcome Mr Biden to Ireland.

The US president can trace his ancestry to Ireland’s west and east coasts, specifically Ballina in Co Mayo and the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth.

His great-great-grandfather Owen Finnegan emigrated to the United States from the Cooley peninsula while another great-great-grandfather, Patrick Blewitt, was born in Ballina, leaving during the Irish famine in 1850 to sail to America.

Distant relatives celebrated his election win in November 2020 back in Ireland and gathered again in January 2021 to mark his inauguration.

The presidential visit to the island will have a strong focus on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday peace agreement.

Recently, Mr Biden made clear an increase in activity by violent dissident republicans opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland would not deter him.

“No. They can’t keep me out,” he told reporters.

Rishi Sunak visit to US
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (right) invited Mr Biden to Northern Ireland (Leon Neal/PA)

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak had invited Mr Biden to come to Northern Ireland to mark the agreement’s anniversary.

Last month, Mr Varadkar told the president that his trip to Ireland would be “a visit like no other”.

“I promise you that we’re going to roll out the red carpet,” he pledged during their St Patrick’s Day meeting in Washington DC.

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White House officials and Secret Service personnel have already visited proposed locations as part of planning for the visit.

Former US president Bill Clinton and his wife and former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton will be in Belfast the week after Mr Biden for more events to commemorate the landmark accord that largely ended the Troubles.

Other key figures involved in securing the deal are also due to travel to the city.

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