Taoiseach to begin virtual St Patrick's Day events with US today

Taoiseach to begin virtual St Patrick's Day events with US today

Micheál Martin. File picture: Gerard McCarthy

Micheál Martin is starting three days of virtual events with the United States today ahead of St Patrick's Day.

The Taoiseach's traditional visit to the White House is not going ahead this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

However, the tradition of the Taoiseach celebrating St Patrick's Day with the US will continue during these virtual events.

Mr Martin will hold a policy address to the Washington-based Brookings Institution today, to set out his thinking on managing relations on and off the island post-Brexit.

This evening, he will speak at the US launch of 'From Whence I Came: The Kennedy Legacy, Ireland & America', edited by Brian Murphy & Donnacha Ó Beacháin.

The first day will close with an address by the Taoiseach to Boston's 'Irish American Partnership' St Patrick's Day celebration.

On Tuesday, the Taoiseach will attend virtual round table events hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise Ireland, and the IDA.

The high-level political engagements will take place on St Patrick's Day itself, Wednesday, when the Taoiseach will talk to President Joe Biden. 

Discussions are expected to cover combating Covid-19 and driving recovery; and shared global challenges, including climate change.

The meeting will also allow Mr Martin to thank President Biden for the US’s ongoing support for the Good Friday Agreement.

Mr Martin said over the weekend: “My visit is an opportunity to highlight how our mutually beneficial trade and investment relationship leaves both our economies well-positioned to bounce back quickly.

“I look forward greatly to meeting President Biden, who has a very special connection with Ireland, and to bring him greetings from Ireland on this his first St Patrick’s Day in office as president.

“I will thank him personally for his unstinting support for Ireland over many years, including in recent times for his support in helping to secure a positive outcome in the Brexit negotiations, as we face into the task now of making those new arrangements work well.”

The Taoiseach will present President Biden with the traditional Shamrock Bowl, extending St Patrick's Day greetings from Irish people to Americans.

Mr Martin will also meet Vice-President Kamala Harris as well as House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

- additional reporting by PA

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