Public urge Taoiseach not to travel to US for St Patrick's Day

Public Urge Taoiseach Not To Travel To Us For St Patrick's Day
A tradition for the Taoiseach to attend on St Patrick's Day, Israel's actions in Gaza have led for people calling for a boycott of this year's visit.
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Michael Bolton

The public have urged Taoiseach Leo Varadkar not to travel to the US for St Patrick's Day over the US backing of Israel's actions in Gaza.

Documents, seen by under the Freedom of Information Act, show that over 4,000 people have contacted the Taoiseach's office over his planned visit to the White House.


It is tradition for the Taoiseach to attend on St Patrick's Day. However, Israel's actions in Gaza have led to people calling for a boycott of this year's visit.

One email addressed to the Taoiseach had said: "I presume you would find it difficult… to shake hands with President Biden as he continues to veto any UN ceasefire and instead gives a green light to further destruction and devastation on the Palestinian people."

The backing of Israel's actions by US president Joe Biden was a common theme in emails to the Taoiseach, with one person stating: “The United States Government led by the Biden administration is corrupt and evidently complicit in the genocide of well over 20,000 Palestinians and displacement of many others.

"The Irish Government cannot turn a blind eye and present shamrocks while so many children, women, men and journalists (who dare to show the world the truth) are slaughtered daily."


There has also been criticism about Ireland not joining South Africa's case of genocide against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), with one person stating: "Ireland's lack of support for South Africa's case at the ICJ has not gone unnoticed by the public.

“Equally regrettable is the shameful entanglement of the Irish Government, and other major parties both sides of the Border, with the US government, despite their ‘unwavering’ military, financial and political support for Israel and its genocidal campaign."

As well as calling for a boycott of the White House visit, this person also called for Ireland to "immediately cease any political engagement with the US Government until it withdraws its military, financial, and political support for Israel".

The US military's actions in Yemen were also brought into question, with one person taking issue with Varadkar previously saying: "It wouldn't make sense not to attend" the White House.


"Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world, has stood up to the Israelis, and the UK and USA have bombed them with no word from you. They clearly said they would stop their blockade when Israel stopped their genocide. Of course, they are not white and European so they don't count in your books."

However, there were also calls for the Taoiseach to use this White House visit to call for a ceasefire.

Taoiseach's office waited a month for briefing on...
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One person had said to the Taoiseach to use his time with Joe Biden to make Ireland's position clear. "Put the Irish case to the US President directly in person, but I know that he knows our position and we know America’s historical position supporting the Jewish people in Israel and the citizens of Israel," they wrote.

Another person had suggested nothing good can come from boycotting visiting the White House, in which they said: "The vital interests of Ireland and the suffering of Palestinian people will not be served well by Irish politicians snubbing the St Patrick's Day fest, at the White House.


"Worth remembering is the support given by Joe Biden to Ireland for the GFA [Good Friday Agreement] and during the ongoing Brexit turmoil".

In a statement, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that Mr Biden would host the Taoiseach for a bilateral meeting on March 15th, followed by a St Patrick’s Day celebration on March 17th.

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