United States vice president Joe Biden has said Ireland remains a “cornerstone” of US international policy, following the British exit from the EU.
Mr Biden said upon hearing the news of a Brexit, that he would have “preferred a different outcome”.
He said his country “fully respects the decision they have made”, adding that “America’s special bond with the UK runs deep and will endure”.
Mr Biden was speaking at Trinity College Dublin, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate. The vice president was joined in Trinity by members of his family, including his five grandchildren, who have accompanied him on his visit to Ireland. It is the first such honorary doctorate the vice president has received outside of the United States.
The ceremony was held in Trinity’s Public Theatre, where the chancellor of Trinity College and former Irish president Mary Robinson, and college provost Dr Patrick Prendergast, welcomed Mr Biden.
Speaking at the event, Mr Biden said it was an “enormous privilege” to receive the honorary doctorate.
Addressing the crowd of graduating Trinity doctorate students seated in the hall, Mr Biden said: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to speak today. You are preparing to add your intellectual talent to the world.
“We are at an inflection point in world history; we’ve never had as much potential to do so much good. You are graduating into a world that can make change.
“Our world is infinitely more complex. That complexity holds opportunity.
“You can do a hell of a lot. You are put in a moment in history that makes it possible. Go and do good.”
Mr Biden was also awarded a gold medal by the Trinity Philosophical Society, and was taken by the Trinity provost and president Mr Prendergast to view the Book of Kells.
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