Joe Biden could be heading to Ireland for his first official state visit

Joe Biden could be heading to Ireland for his first official state visit

PRESIDENT-ELECT Joe Biden could make Ireland his first port of call for any official state visit, according to rumours coming out of Washington.

The 77-year-old may not be official inaugurated as the 46th US President until January 2021, but it would appear that plans are already being put together for his first visit abroad as the leader of the free world.

Biden’s great-great-grandfather emigrated to the US from Ballina, Co Louth, back in 1840s and the Democrat has always been proud of his family’s Irish roots.

To this day, the President-elect has several distant cousins over in Ireland and the town where his family name originated out of some 180 years ago.

Louth Fine Gael Senator John McGahon has already been in touch with the Biden team to extend an invitation to the President while the Taoiseach Micheál Martin also told the Irish-American politician he was welcome to visit whenever circumstances allow.

And according to one expert, the President-elect could be taking up the invite very soon.

Sir Peter Westmacott previously served as British Ambassador to the United States and he believes Biden’s Irish heritage could be enough to see him make Ireland his pick for a first official visit.

The ex-ambassador told Sky News that the move would serve as a contrast to Donald Trump who headed to Saudi Arabia for his first state visit.

"Donald Trump went off for a very glitzy reception in Saudi Arabia for his own reasons," he said.

"Joe Biden is very proud of his Irish links so it is possible that he would go there first."

One place Biden is likely to avoid in the immediate future, however, is the UK, according to Westmacott.

“We [Britain] probably wouldn’t be first anyway given the background of the way in which the Johnson administration has been working so closely with Donald Trump,” he said.