The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar begins his St Patrick’s Day visit to the US today, with Austin the first stop in a four-city tour.
Mr Varadkar will promote Irish innovation at the South by Southwest festival and meet the Governor of Texas as well as representatives of the Irish community in Texas.
Tomorrow, he will travel to the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma to commemorate the relief the tribe provided to Ireland during the famine.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar @campaignforleo begins his #StPatricksDay visit to the US - first stop Austin for meeting with @GovAbbott & address at #SXSW & then he will travel to Oaklahoma to commemorate the relief the Choctaw Nation provided during the Famine https://t.co/9mR6rOI2me pic.twitter.com/Dv5ZhSKnwV— Embassy of Ireland USA (@IrelandEmbUSA) March 11, 2018
The Taoiseach will head for Washington D.C. on Tuesday where he will deliver a foreign policy address to the Brookings Institution, followed by a congressional event marking the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement that evening. Mr Varadkar will deliver a keynote speech along with Senator George Mitchell.
Trade promotion will be the focus on Wednesday when the Taoiseach will meet senior representatives of Irish companies who are prospering in the US market, and will hold separate roundtable discussions with members of the US Chamber of Commerce to promote Ireland as an investment location. That evening, he will address the annual American Ireland Fund Gala Dinner.
On Thursday, the Taoiseach's programme includes a meeting with President Trump at the White House and engagements on Capitol Hill, including the annual lunch hosted by Speaker of the House. Mr Varadkar plans to emphasise the strength of Irish-US relations and to highlight the case of the undocumented Irish.
That afternoon, the traditional shamrock ceremony will take place as part of the White House St Patrick’s Day Reception. The Taoiseach will be guest of honour at a breakfast hosted by Vice President Pence on Friday morning.
The final leg of the Taoiseach’s visit brings him to New York for a community, economic and cultural programme. On Friday, following a business lunch with the media company Bloomberg, he will visit the Manhattan site of the new Irish Arts Centre before meeting the representatives of the main Irish immigrant centres. He will then speak at a reception for the Irish community in New York and announce the launch of the New York Washington Ireland Program.
The Taoiseach’s visit concludes on Saturday, March 17th with the traditional New York St Patrick’s Day programme, including a meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio, the St Patrick’s Cathedral mass and walking in the Fifth Avenue parade.
- Digital Desk