It has been confirmed that the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, will pay an official visit to Ireland next week at the invitation of the Taoiseach. The visit will take place from April 12 to 15, during which, President Biden is to travel to Ballina, where he is scheduled to deliver a homecoming speech outside St Muredach's Cathedral on Friday evening, April 14.
Welcoming the news, Minister of State and Ballina TD, Dara Calleary TD, said, "I look forward to welcoming President Biden to Mayo, his ancestral homeland, and to share with him the rich history and culture of our county and country.
"The visit is particularly special as President Biden has ancestral roots in the area, his great-great-grandfather Edward Blewitt hailed from here and his connections with his relatives here are active and vibrant.
"Our town of Ballina is very proud of its connection to the Biden family and the community will give him the warmest welcome home. This is an opportunity to celebrate the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between Ireland and the United States and to renew the economic and cultural links that bind either side of the Atlantic."
Mayo Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon also welcomed the upcoming visit, saying: "The town of Ballina and people across Mayo are preparing to roll out the red carpet for its most famous descendant. We are honoured to host President Biden in our beautiful county, as it is a testament to the strong bond between Ireland and the United States. This visit will provide a unique opportunity to highlight the importance of our shared values and the deep-rooted connections between our people.
"The visit is also expected to draw significant international attention, with a press corps of over 1,000 journalists accompanying the president during his visit. This will provide County Mayo with an unparalleled opportunity to showcase its beauty, heritage, and cultural offerings to a massive global audience. The attention will undoubtedly elevate County Mayo's profile on the world stage and contribute to increased tourism, investment, and cultural exchange between our two nations," concluded Deputy Dillon.