The details surrounding the Taoiseach’s upcoming virtual visit to the United States to mark St Patrick’s Day have been confirmed.
Micheál Martin is set to participate in a programme of virtual events from March 15th to 17th, in place of the traditional visit to the White House by the Irish premier.
In a statement, the Government said Mr Martin will meet US President Joe Biden virtually from Government Buildings on St Patrick’s Day itself when he will present the traditional Shamrock Bowl.
Discussions are expected to include the Covid-19 crisis and recovery, shared global challenges such as climate change, and the US’s support for the Good Friday Agreement.
Mr Martin said: “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.”
Mr Martin said the period surrounding St Patrick’s Day remained an opportunity to celebrate the “remarkable relationship” between the US and Ireland.
Alongside meeting President Biden, the Taoiseach will meet virtually with US Vice President Kamala Harris.
Both will then speak with the inaugural class of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows, twenty American students from minority backgrounds who have been selected to visit Ireland later this year.
Mr Martin will also meet US Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the US Congress Friends of Ireland Caucus who will mark their 40th anniversary on St Patrick’s Day.
Aside from these political meetings, the Taoiseach will join a panel discussion on Monday evening at the US launch of ‘From Whence I Came: The Kennedy Legacy, Ireland & America', edited by Brian Murphy & Donnacha Ó Beacháin.
Panel members will include former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, US Congressman Richie Neal, and former Massachusetts Congressman and Kennedy family member Joe Kennedy III.
On Tuesday, Mr Martin will attend roundtables hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, to explore how trade and investment partnership can help drive economic recovery in both Ireland and the US.
He will also speak at a public event commemorating John Hume and the role he played in garnering US support for the Northern Irish peace process. This event will be hosted by the Congressional Friends of Ireland Caucus, in association with the Pat & John Hume Foundation and the Embassy of Ireland.