Vice President Joe Biden to visit Ireland
No malarkey: Vice President Joe Biden is finally making a long-sought extended visit to Ireland.
The veteran politician, who regularly invokes his Irish roots and is fond of quoting Irish poets (not because he’s Irish, but because they’re the best poets, he says), will make an official visit to the Emerald Isle in late June.
Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny made the announcement Tuesday night as he joined Biden for an event at the Kennedy Center in Washington marking 100 years since the uprising against British rule that Ireland marks as the beginning of its independence movement.
Biden’s frequent international travels on behalf of the Obama administration often require Air Force Two to refuel at Shannon Airport, on Ireland’s western coast. Biden, his staff and traveling press corps have made a habit of frequenting its duty free shop -- the world’s first -- during the brief stopovers.
His next visit will be more extensive, scheduled from June 21 to 26 and will include formal bilateral meetings with Kenny as well as the Irish president, according to the vice president’s office.
Biden will use his visit to speak about the need for diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness across the globe, and how that’s informed by the shared Irish-American experience, an administration official said.
Biden will also likely have family in tow for the trip, which will include stops in the ancestral home counties of the Biden and Finnegan clans, Mayo and Louth. He’ll also travel to Ballina, the sister city of his home town of Scranton, Pa.
When Biden hosted Kenny at his official residence in March for a St. Patrick’s Day breakfast, the prime minister noted how long Biden has hoped to make a longer trip to the country as vice president. He had especially hoped to make the visit with his eldest son, Beau, who died one year ago this month.
“I know you wanted to go with Beau,” Kenny said. “I’m sure his spirit will walk with you.”
Kenny said Tuesday night that Biden would be “coming home.”
“You’ll see what your mother and grandmother said, that the ceád milé fáilte really means that - 100,000 welcomes - so be ready,” Kenny said, according to the Irish Times.
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