Irish flags, poetry and a efficiency from Niall Horan… this White House journey was one other diplomatic success for Ireland
“Every American president is a little bit Irish on St Patrick’s Day…but some are more Irish than others.” Those phrases, spoken by Leo Varadkar, had been greeted by raucous cheers within the White House, and a broad grin from Joe Biden, “unmistakably a son of Ireland”.
The Taoiseach was proper. The second Irish Catholic US president, after JFK, there’s little doubt that Joe Biden is essentially the most overtly pleased with his Irish heritage. The president’s grandfather advised him that “the best drop of blood in you is Irish”, he stated, and it actually looks as if he took that to coronary heart.
For the travelling Irish journalists, it may be simple to take all this with no consideration yearly – the entry to the Oval Office, the Irish flags, songs, music, poetry, the inexperienced White House fountain… an outpouring of affection and heat in the direction of a tiny nation on the fringes of Europe.
But this form of assured entry to essentially the most highly effective workplace on the planet is outstanding, and Ireland’s authorities and diplomats are properly conscious of the affect it confers. Mr Varadkar thanked the president at this time for America’s assist on Brexit – “it really made a difference”, he stated.
The proud Irish-American with roots in Counties Mayo and Louth spoke repeatedly of his assist for the Windsor Framework, once more subtly growing the strain on the DUP, whose chief Jeffrey Donaldson was current on the shamrock ceremony, to just accept the deal.
But Biden failed to offer extra particulars about his upcoming journey to Ireland and Northern Ireland, as many had anticipated. The dates are nonetheless unclear.
But for the Irish, this was one other diplomatic success. We had the sight of the US president draping his arm round Mullingar heartthrob Niall Horan, lauding the Irish rugby group and hoping for his or her Grand Slam victory over England, and talking in essentially the most sentimental approach concerning the aul sod.
Leo Varadkar will head for dwelling assured as soon as extra that on this White House particularly, Irish pursuits are being very properly protected.