James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
'I'm home': Joe Biden hails US and Ireland's 'partnership for the ages' in passionate address to Irish parliament
13 April 2023, 19:11
Joe Biden has hailed the "enduring bond" between the United States and Ireland in a passionate address to the Irish parliament, dubbing it a "partnership for the ages".
Speaking at a joint sitting of Ireland's parliament, Mr Biden kicked off his speech referencing his links to the country, telling those gathered in the chamber "I'm home" in Irish.
The US President, who was the fourth leader to address a joint sitting of the Oireachtas, said the decision of his Irish ancestors to leave their homeland is "emblematic" of many Irish and American families.
"These stories are the very heart of what binds Ireland America together. They speak to a history defined by our dreams," Mr Biden told the chamber.
"They speak to a future poised for unlimited shared possibilities."
The US President is currently on a tour of the Republic of Ireland after visiting Northern Ireland to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Mr Biden used the address to call on the UK to "work closer with Ireland to support the people of Northern Ireland".
He praised the Good Friday Agreement, which he played a part in securing in the 1990s, saying it had ensured young people had not been stifled with "checkpoints on their dreams".
After kicking off his speech with a reference to his Irish ancestors, Mr Biden then referenced his recent gaffe, in which he confused the All Blacks with the Black and Tans.
The US President addressed a pub in Ireland on Wednesday, during which he paid tribute to one of his distant cousins and Rugby player Rob Kearney.
"He’s a hell of a rugby player, and he beat the hell out of the Black and Tans. Oh, God," the president said.
Mr Biden had meant to say the All Blacks (New Zealand) instead.
Moving on from his heritage and gaffe, Mr Biden claimed the United States and Ireland have shared a similar history, saying both "know what it means to persevere for freedom".
"It's not hyperbole - it's a fact. It's not just the the hope but conviction better days lie ahead," Mr Biden said - before citing US President John F Kennedy's trip to the Irish parliament in the 1960s.
He then turned the attention to policy, condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine, praising Ireland's support for refugees.
Mr Biden said: "The island of Ireland has always been a voice for liberty, global cooperation and equality of all mankind - because Ireland remembers the terrible cost of war."
During his trip to the country, he said: “Northern Ireland will not go back, pray god.”He said the “dividends of peace” could be seen all around in the city.
"Peace was not inevitable," he added.
"The negotiations had 700 days of failure and one day of success."
"There is a large population that is invested in what happens here."
Following his address of the Irish parliament, Mr Biden will now have dinner at Dublin Castle hosted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.