As President Joe Biden departs for his first overseas trip since February, Europe faces a host of rising political and security threats, alongside the constant demands of a grinding war in Ukraine and a court ruling aimed at further restricting abortion access. The White House has scrambled to respond to the leak of strategic documents while ensuring that Biden remains briefed as he travels abroad.
During his visit, President Biden will mark the 25th anniversary of the U.S.-brokered Good Friday Agreement and travel to the Irish Republic for the first time since tracing his lineage through the countryside as vice president in 2016. The ongoing dispute between Northern Ireland’s main pro-British party, Democratic Unionists (DUP), who oppose the proposed settlement called Windsor Framework, is expected not to be deeply addressed by Biden during this trip. Instead, he is likely to provide encouragement to all parties in Northern Ireland to move forward.
Ernie Caffrey, owner of a fine art gallery in Ballina, Co. Mayo has prepared an ancestral hometown gift for President Joe Biden when he visits. "The story of how Biden and his Irish ancestors made it to a better life in America is truly inspiring," said Caffrey.
Two branches from his mother's family — Finnegans from County Louth and Blewitts from County Mayo — emigrated during years of great hunger around 1849 before settling down in Scranton Pennsylvania; making him 'among most Irish' US presidents ever known.
President Joe Biden's four-day trip starting Tuesday focuses on commemorating both 25 years since signing Good Friday Agreement which ended decades-long sectarian bloodshed within Northern Ireland known as "The Troubles" but also celebrating strong ties with their transatlantic ally amid Brexit fallout complications still plaguing EU member state - particularly economically speaking due its vast potential benefiting communities across the board.
The visit, part homecoming, diplomacy and politics aims to showcase American foreign policy as a force for enduring good. As President Biden plans to meet with Irish leaders, address Parliament and deliver a nighttime speech in front of St. Muredach’s Cathedral before returning to Washington on Saturday - this trip is undoubtedly an important intersection between his deeply felt personal history and ingrained view of America's role in the world.