US Vice President Joe Biden said he was emotional and moved by his visit to Aras an Uachtarain this morning, writes Jack Power of the Irish Examiner.
Mr Biden visited with President Michael D. Higgins and the two held a 30-minute meeting in which they discussed human rights, Northern Ireland, and Irish - American relations.
On his arrival at the Aras Mr Biden was ushered into the state reception room by Mr Higgins and his wife Sabina to sign the Visitors book.
Mr Biden said to be in the Aras was “moving” and that his “grandfather Finnegan would be very proud”.
Mr Biden quoted John F. Kennedy’s words upon his visit to Ireland back in 1963 beside his signature, “our two nations, divided by distance have been united by our people”.
Vice President Joe Biden quoted JFK in the Áras an Uachtaráin visitors book: pic.twitter.com/YSjWhMSTEl— President of Ireland (@PresidentIRL) June 22, 2016
Mr Biden wrote that he would like to add, “we are united by the hearts and souls of our people”.
While signing the book Biden remarked he was “writing a letter” to the Irish people, to which President Higgins responded that it reminded him of the name of a song, ‘A Letter from your Son’.
The US Vice President is currently visiting Ireland to trace his Irish roots and connect with rediscovered distant relatives in County Louth.
President Higgins and Mr Biden were joined by the US Ambassador to Ireland Kevin O’Malley, and two other members of the VP’s foreign relations staff, his National Security Advisor Dr Colin Kahl and Anna Makanju, his senior director for Europe.
Ireland’s Ambassador to the US Anne Anderson was greeted by President Higgins and Mr Biden, and was described by Mr Biden as the “best Ambassador in the world”.
President Higgin’s secretary-general Art O’Leary and his advisor Liam Herrick were also present for the occasion.
Mr Biden’s 20-car motorcade left the Aras to continue on the Vice President’s trip around Ireland down to Mayo later today.
— Elaine Loughlin (@Elaine_Loughlin) June 22, 2016