US President Donald Trump has proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month.
It comes ahead of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s visit to the White House as part of the annual St Patrick’s day celebrations.
In the proclamation, Trump paid tribute to the “tremendous role Irish immigrants” played in America’s history.
In a statement, Trump said: “During the month of St Patrick’s Day, we celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month and the tremendous role Irish immigrants and their descendants have played in the development of our great Nation.
“Irish-American Heritage Month is a great opportunity to celebrate the nearly 33 million Americans with Irish ancestry and their tremendous contributions to the betterment of our country.”
Trump went on to highlight former presidents of Irish heritage as well as the nine signatories of the Declaration of Independence who were of Irish descent.
He added: “For centuries, the tenacious Irish spirit, paired with American self-reliance, has helped Irish immigrants and their descendants realise incredible dreams.”
The US President went on to say he was looking forward to strengthening the relationship between the two countries.
“As we spend this month honouring Irish Americans, we also pledge to further strengthen our relationship with the Emerald Isle itself, as we look forward to a bright future of greater friendship, cooperation, and commerce for centuries to come,” he added.
Some people appeared to question Trump’s motives and sincerity.
He's trying to use us to troll Black History month (February) in the US. Don't fall for it, Irish diaspora. Hope this 17/3 we ignore him completely.
— Preparao (@sarahkingnadal) 28 February 2018
— AuroraBorealice (@AuroraBorealice) 28 February 2018
😹Next up: tRUmp announces that he has created a new, never heard of before, way to celebrate all things Irish ~
and has decided to name it in honor of St.Patrick... since most people don’t know about him...
Females not wearing green can be grabbed by the p*ssy all day on 3-17.
— Medusa X (@Meduza_X) 28 February 2018
In fact, Irish-American Heritage Month has been around since 1991, when Congress first designated the month of March as such.
Every year since 1991, the serving President has proclaimed March as Irish-American Heritage Month.
President Trump continued the practice last year after he took office.