TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has congratulated Joe Biden after he was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States today.
Martin labelled Biden a "true friend of Ireland" and said he looked forward to welcoming the 78-year-old to the country at some point in the near future.
He spoke of Biden's well-known Irish heritage, saying he was "one of us" and that Ireland takes "great pride in his immense achievement".
"On behalf of the government and people of Ireland, I wish to offer my heartfelt congratulations to President Joe Biden on his inauguration," Martin said in a statement.
"The inauguration of a new US President is a moment of hope and renewal in US political life.
Today a true friend of Ireland @JoeBiden became the 46th President of the USA. As he said in his speech, it is a day of history and hope and I look forward to forging ever closer ties between our two great nations. #InaugurationDay
— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) January 20, 2021
"As he takes the oath-of-office, I know that President Biden will feel the weight of history - the presence of his Irish ancestors who left Mayo and Louth in famine times in search of life and hope.
"He will remember their descendants' hard struggle as they made their way in and their contribution to the United States. It is the story of Irish-America.
"I hope he will also be conscious of the great pride we in Ireland take in his immense achievement. He is one of us, part of our global family.
"I look forward to welcoming President Biden back to this island and deepening cooperation on global peace, climate change, economic partnership and stability."
Taking to Twitter, the Irish leader wrote: "Today a true friend of Ireland @JoeBiden became the 46th President of the USA. As he said in his speech, it is a day of history and hope and I look forward to forging ever closer ties between our two great nations."
He also praised vice president Kamala Harris, for whom Martin said it was an "historic day".
"Also, a historic day as @KamalaHarris is sworn in as the first woman Vice President of the USA. I wish her and President Biden every success in meeting the challenges ahead."