THE US President is “eager” to visit the island of Ireland next week – with the opportunity to explore his family roots “incredibly important to him” it has been confirmed.
President Biden’s Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that he was “eager” to undertake the visit, which takes place from April 11-14.
The trip, which marks the 25-year anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, will see the President visit Belfast, Dublin, Mayo and Louth.
“The President is eager to visit the UK and Ireland, two nations whom we have close ties with,” Ms Jean-Pierre confirmed in a White House briefing.
“He will have a series of engagements in Belfast, Dublin, Co Louth and Co Mayo,” she added.
Regarding his own connections in Ireland, where the President has family links in Counties Mayo and Louth, she confirmed that he will take time to “connect” with his roots.
“The President is going to be highlighting how his family history is part of that larger shared history between US and Ireland,” Ms Jean-Pierre explained.
“Waves of Irish immigrants shaped America’s spirit of freedom and our drive for independence which launched an irrevocable friendship between our two countries, so yes that part of the trip that connects to his family is going to be incredibly important to him,” she added.
“But also to the broader Irish American community as well, as we talk about immigrants as we talk about how [the US] was created, so he is definitely looking forward to this trip.”
When asked how the state visit will be funded, Ms Jean-Pierre confirmed: "The President is a President that follows the law and does these types of things in an appropriate fashion in an appropriate way."
During his visit the President will give a public speech at St Muredach’s Cathedral in Ballina, Co. Mayo.