Biden Takes Part in Community Gathering in Dundalk, Ireland

April 12, 2023

President Biden took part in a community gathering in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland as part of his four-day visit to the Emerald Isle.

“Coming here feels like coming home. It really does,” Biden told the gathering in Dundalk. “When you’re here you wonder why anyone would want to leave.”

The President was joined by his sister Valerie and his son Hunter in Dundalk, the ancestral home of Biden’s maternal great-grandparents, the Finnegans.

He told the crowd the shamrock tie he wore was given to him by one of the people gathered, who was “a hell of a rugby player.” 

According to reports he was Rob Kearney, a retired professional rugby player who lives in County Louth, is Mr. Biden’s fifth cousin, once removed.

Ahead of traveling to Dundalk Biden flew to Dublin, where he was greeted by Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

Earlier in the day he’d delivered a speech in Belfast, Northern Ireland, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Peace Agreement, which ended thirty years of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.

During that speech at Ulster University, Biden called for a return to power sharing between the executive and the assembly. 

Four of Northern Ireland’s leaders, spanning politically from the Irish republican Sinn Féin to British unionists, have been pushing to form a new cross-community government  as the U.S.-brokered 1998 peace deal had intended.

In Belfast, Biden also met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and told Northern Irish political leaders that numerous major U.S. corporations were ready to invest in the region.

According to the Irish Family History Centre, Biden “is among the most ‘Irish’ of all U.S. Presidents.” Ten of his 16 great-great grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Ireland during the Great Famine in the mid-1800s.

Along with the Finnegan home in County Louth, Biden is set to visit his Blewitt ancestral home in County Mayo. 

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