Biden will receive Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for St. Patrick’s Day
President Joe Biden will host Irish leader Leo Varadkar for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the White House on Friday after the COVID pandemic halted celebrations for the past two years.
Green will be the theme of the day amid a busy schedule of holiday-related activities including an Oval Office meeting, a luncheon on Capitol Hill hosted by Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Irish eggs for breakfast with Vice President Kamala Harris.
Varadkar’s visit comes after Biden said he plans to visit both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland next month, marking the 25th anniversary of the US-brokered Good Friday Agreement.
The agreement helped end the sectarian violence that had raged for three decades over whether Northern Ireland should unite with Ireland or remain part of the UK.
“I want to recognize the central role that the US has played in the peace process on our island, driving it forward and highlighting critical points,” Varadkar said during his meeting with Harris on Friday morning.
When they meet in the Oval Office, the two men will also discuss the war in Ukraine.
Vice President Kamala Harris clink glasses as she hosts a St Patrick’s Day breakfast with Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (seated left).
Prior to his meeting with Biden, Varadkar, known as the Taoiseach, and his partner Matthew Barrett visited the Naval Observatory for breakfast with Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff. “Eggs St. Patrick” was on the menu. It’s an Irish twist on Eggs Benedict.
Harris wore a green pantsuit for the occasion. The three men had shamrocks in the breast pockets of their suit jackets.
Acknowledging Biden’s love of all things Irish, she remarked: “He’s quite ebullient in that joy and I’ve caught the bug now.”
Later on Friday, the boy band One Direction and Irish singer Niall Horan will perform before heads of state and invited guests at the White House.
Horan was one of the five members of One Direction, the popular 2010 Anglo-Irish boy band that have sold more than 70 million records worldwide. The band officially broke up in January 2016.
During Friday’s visit, Varadkar is expected to present Biden with an engraved crystal bowl featuring shamrocks, a tradition that began in 1952.
Last year, on St. Patrick’s Day, then-Prime Minister Micheál Martin tested positive for COVID, prompting him to meet Biden virtually instead. And in 2021, Martin and Biden celebrated virtually because of the pandemic.
Varadkar, who served as the Taoiseach from 2017 to 2020, returned to the role in December. Most recently, he was in Washington for St. Patrick’s Day, when Donald Trump was President.
President Joe Biden is proud of his Irish roots and often speaks of them
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and his partner Matt Barrett meet guests at the St Patrick’s Day reception at the Irish Ambassador’s residence on Thursday evening
Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff (right) greet Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (second left) and his partner Matthew Barrett (left)
The holiday becomes a tradition celebrated at the White House. Some 31.5 million US citizens claim Irish heritage, second only to Germany, according to the Census Bureau.
Biden, in particular, is proud of his Irish roots, speaking often of them and quoting an Irish poet in most of his speeches.
His mother’s family – the Finnegans – were Irish-American immigrants.
The President has long made it clear that he wanted to visit Ireland as President, but Northern Ireland’s commercial status caused a diplomatic headache when it came to a Presidential visit.
However, this obstacle was removed when Britain and the European Union agreed the Windsor Framework Agreement, paving the way for trade across the Ireland-Northern Ireland border.
Former One Direction member Irish singer Niall Horan will perform at a St. Patrick’s Day reception at the White House on Friday
Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, remained essentially in the European Union market, along with its neighbor the Republic of Ireland, an independent country when Britain voted to leave the EU
The Windsor Framework will keep goods moving without repealing the Good Friday Agreement.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak personally invited Biden when he met with him during an Aukus event in San Diego on Monday.
“I know it’s very special and personal to you. We’d love to have you,” the Prime Minister told the US President.
‘Twenty-five years. It feels like yesterday. Like yesterday,” Biden mused about Sunak’s invitation. “Thanks,” he added.
Biden was last in Ireland in an official capacity as Vice President in 2016. This visit included stops in Dublin, Mayo and Louth – the capital and two counties of his ancestors.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/biden-will-host-taoiseach-leo-varadkar-for-st-patricks-day/ Biden will receive Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for St. Patrick’s Day