Ireland’s premier appears unlikely to be travelling to US for Shamrock ceremony

Rebecca Black, PAFri, 12 February 2021, 6:25 pm

Ireland’s premier appears unlikely to be travelling to the United States next month for the annual Shamrock ceremony.

Micheal Martin said his officials are working with the US administration on how this year’s event should be marked in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, Mr Martin said he would visit the White House if invited.

Taoiseach visit to the US
Then taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) and then US president Donald Trump in the Oval Office for the Shamrock ceremony in March 2020 (Niall Carson/PA)

On Friday he said he is more concerned about the substance of the ceremony rather than the location.

It is expected the event will take place virtually.

“In respect of how we mark St Patrick’s Day, how we mark that unique relationship between the United States and Ireland, officials in both administrations have been engaging in terms of what is the optimal way of doing that this year in the context of Covid-19,” the Taoiseach said.

“It is the number one challenge facing President Joe Biden, it’s our number one challenge here.

“What matters to us is not so much the location of how we mark it but rather the substance of the relationship between our two administrations.

“There are very strong dimensions to this, the economic dimension, the undocumented in America that we constantly advocate for and try and seek remedies for, developing partnerships with other members of the Biden administration.”

The Taoiseach was speaking during a visit to a coronavirus vaccination centre in Cork.