Joe Biden to visit Ireland in April to mark progress since Good Friday Agreement – despite snubbing Coronation | The Sun

JOE Biden will visit Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland next week, the White House has confirmed.

The US president wants to "mark the tremendous progress since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement 25 years ago" from April 11 to 14 – but he won't jet over for the King's Coronation several weeks later.

High-tech vehicles to protect the 80-year-old have already been flown into Belfast ahead of the Irish trip.

Two long-range US Air Force cargo planes touched down at RAF Aldergrove with the cars on board yesterday.

Mr Biden, who often speaks with pride of his Irish roots, is set to arrive in Belfast on Tuesday before travelling to Dublin, Louth and Mayo.

It is understood he may meet King Charles, 74, on Wednesday.


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White House press secretary Karine Jean Pierre said: "President Biden will first travel to Belfast, Northern Ireland, from April 11 to 12 to mark the tremendous progress since the signing of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement 25 years ago and to underscore the readiness of the United States to support Northern Ireland's vast economic potential to the benefit of all communities.

"The President will then travel to Ireland from April 12 to 14.

"He will discuss our close co-operation on the full range of shared global challenges.

"He will also hold various engagements, including in Dublin, County Louth and County Mayo, where he will deliver an address to celebrate the deep, historic ties that link our countries and people."

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Irish premier Leo Varadkar said he was "delighted" about the upcoming official visit, describing it as a "privilege and a special moment".

"Joe Biden has always been a friend of Ireland. Over many decades, and to this day, he has supported the cause of peace in Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement," he added.

"He stood with us as we navigated the difficult consequences of Brexit.

"We need to continue working together as true partners to fulfil the potential of all the people who call this island their home.

"His visit is an opportunity to celebrate and renew the strong political, economic and personal ties that bind our two countries."

During the five-day tour, Mr Biden will be joined by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and potentially his wife.

While he's flying over for the Irish visit, Mr Biden will skip the King's Coronation of May 6, with Jill, 71, attending in his place.

He has previously praised the royals and said the world was "better" because of the late Queen – but his mother Catherine Finnegan was seemingly less keen on the Firm.

The Irish Catholic allegedly chose to sleep on the floor while in England because the monarch had once spent the night in the bed she was offered.

Mr Biden can trace his ancestry to Ireland's west and east coasts, specifically Ballina in Co Mayo and the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth.

His great-great-grandfather Owen Finnegan emigrated to the US from the Cooley peninsula, while another great-great-grandfather, Patrick Blewitt, was born in Ballina, leaving during the Irish famine in 1850 to sail to America.

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Distant relatives celebrated his election win in November 2020 in Ireland and gathered again in January 2021 to mark his inauguration.

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