Taoiseach makes St Patrick's Day visit to White House a 'key objective'
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Taoiseach makes St Patrick's Day visit to White House a 'key objective'

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin is still planning a visit to the White House for St. Patrick's Day in spite of the coronavirus crisis.

He will make the trip one of his Government's "key" St. Patrick's Day objectives, according to the Irish Independent.

On Wednesday, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, and planning is apparently already underway to ensure that Mr Martin can travel to Washington for what has become a traditional visit for Irish leaders.

"There is a desire that the bilateral meeting between the Taoiseach and President Biden goes ahead as scheduled and detailed discussions are taking place," sources say.

Last year, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was famously forced to announce that Ireland would be entering its very first full lockdown due to Covid-19 while on a trip to Washington to meet with President Trump.

It's understood that Martin's planned trip this year will be scaled back to adhere to all necessary public health guidelines that may be in place.

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As such, there are doubts over whether the famous Shamrock Ceremony in the East Room of the White House can take place, but it's understood that the event will likely take place in some form.

But any major events such as formal dinners and other functions will likely not take place.

Yesterday, Martin congratulated Biden after he was sworn into office, describing the Irish-American as "one of us" and a "true friend of Ireland."

In November, it was reported that Biden plans to make Ireland the first official state visit of his presidency.

Last week, Martin said of Biden's impending visit: "When I invited the President-elect to Ireland he just said 'try and keep me out' so it won't be any lack of enthusiasm."