WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will spend time tracing his family history this week on a trip that includes stops in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Biden is scheduled to leave Tuesday for a trip to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which ended 30 years of violent conflict in Northern Ireland. His first stop will be Belfast, where he will meet British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday.
Biden is expected to deliver remarks at Ulster University «marking tremendous progress» since the signing of the peace agreement in 1998, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at a press briefing on Monday. White House.
«He will underscore America’s readiness to preserve those gains and support Northern Ireland’s vast economic potential for the benefit of all communities,» said Kirby, who dismissed concerns about recent threats of violence in the country and said Biden feel comfortable making the trip.
Kirby added: «President Biden cares deeply about Northern Ireland and has a long history of supporting peace and prosperity there.»
Following his speech in Belfast, Biden will travel to County Louth on Ireland’s north-east coast, which was home to his maternal ancestors in the 19th century. Biden’s great-grandparents, James Finnegan and Catherine Roche, lived in the area before Finnegan immigrated with his family to the United States, settling in Seneca County, New York, when he was 9 years old, a White House official said. .
On Thursday, Biden is expected to meet with Irish President Michael Higgins and Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, and address a joint session of the Irish Parliament, Kirby said. That evening, Biden will attend a banquet at Dublin Castle.
Biden is also scheduled to visit County Mayo, on the northwest coast of Ireland, where more of his ancestors, the Blewitt family, hail from.
«He will meet family, visit places of importance to County Louth Finnegans and County Mayo Blewitts and talk about what it’s been like to be fiercely proud to be Irish and a value system that says everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. passed down to every generation,» said a White House official.
The visit to County Mayo is expected to include a stop at a genealogy research center. Biden will deliver remarks at St. Muredach’s Cathedral, where her great-great-grandfather Patrick Blewitt was baptized in April 1832.
Biden is scheduled to return to the United States on Saturday. Asked by reporters Monday if his trip would include a meeting with King Charles, Kirby said Biden spoke to him on the phone last week and told him first lady Jill Biden would represent the United States at her coronation in May. .