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Published On: Tue, Jun 21st, 2016

#BidenInIreland: Follow Along with the Vice President's Trip to Ireland

Today, the Vice President touched down in Ireland — the home of his ancestors.

Over the course of his trip, he’ll participate in bilateral meetings with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael Higgins. He’ll deliver remarks on the Irish-American experience, the shared heritage of our two nations, and our shared values of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness. And he’ll travel to the counties from which his ancestors hail. Over the course of the trip, he’ll also be taking questions from the Ancestry.com community and Americans around the country. Tweet your questions at @VP using hashtag #BidenInIreland.

Read a note from the Vice President ahead of his trip, and keep following along for updates.


I’m heading out on a very special trip today.

I’m going back to Ireland — the country from which my ancestors hailed, and a country whose independence the Easter Rising set in motion, 100 years ago this year. It is my first dedicated trip to this nation as Vice President — during which I’ll meet with the country’s leaders, discuss issues of trade, economic recovery, migration and refugee policy, and other national security challenges, and celebrate our shared heritage. Our shared values of tolerance. Diversity. Inclusiveness.

And it’s a trip I’m so deeply grateful to be taking alongside my children and grandchildren. 

Over the course of my life, I’ve been a lot of places. I’ve traveled all around the world — more than a million miles on Air Force Two alone. I’ve been honored to have held a lot of titles. But I have always been and will always be the son of Kitty Finnegan.

The grandson of Geraldine Finnegan from St. Paul’s Parish in Scranton; a proud descendant of the Finnegans of Ireland’s County Louth. The great-grandson of a man named Edward Francis Blewitt, whose roots stem from Ballina, a small town in Ireland’s County Mayo — sister city to my hometown in Scranton, Pennsylvania. An engineer with a poet’s heart. Months after my mother passed away, I found an old box of his poems in my attic.

In his poetry, my great-grandfather spoke of both continents, and how his heart and his soul drew from the old and the new. And most of all, he was proud. He was proud of his ancestors. He was proud of his blood. He was proud of his city. He was proud of his state, his country. But most of all — he was proud of his family.

And that is America: This notion that home is where your character is etched. As Americans, we all hail from many homes. Somewhere along the line, someone in our lineage arrived on our shores, filled with hope. We are blessed to experience that simultaneous pride in where we’ve found ourselves, while never forgetting our roots.

James Joyce wrote, “When I die, Dublin will be written on my heart.” 

Well, Northeast Pennsylvania will be written on my heart. But Ireland will be written on my soul. And as we join the world in celebrating everything that Ireland has become, and indeed everything that she is always been, I could not be more honored to be returning.

You can see what I see right here. 

I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

-Joe


Day One: Arriving in Dublin

  • The Vice President, family, and staff arrive at Dublin International Airport in the evening.
  • The Vice President greets with Taoiseach Enda Kenny before heading into a bilateral meeting at the Government Building.
  • The Vice President remains in Dublin overnight.
Vice President Joe Biden is greeted by Taoiseach Kenny outside the government building before their bilateral meeting, in Dublin, Ireland, June 21, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden is greeted by Taoiseach Kenny outside the government building before their bilateral meeting, in Dublin, Ireland, June 21, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Get the official readout from the Vice President’s bilateral meeting with Taoiseach Kenny.

Vice President Joe Biden is given a cricket bat by Taoiseach Enda Kenny before their bilateral meeting at the government building in Dublin, Ireland, June 21, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden is given a hurling stick by Taoiseach Enda Kenny before their bilateral meeting at the government building in Dublin, Ireland, June 21, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Day Two: From Dublin to Ballina, County Mayo

  • The Vice President greets with President Michael Higgins at the President’s Residence.
  • The Vice Presidents Holds a bilateral meeting with President Higgins.
  • The Vice President departs Dublin for County Mayo, Ireland.
  • The Vice President and Taoiseach Kenny make stops in several towns in County Mayo, visiting various points of significance to the Vice President and Taoiseach along the way.
Vice President Joe Biden greets President Michael Higgins and Sabina Higgins upon arrival at the President's Residence in Dublin, Ireland, June 22, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden greets President Michael Higgins and Sabina Higgins upon arrival at the President’s Residence in Dublin, Ireland, June 22, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden attends a bilateral meeting with President Michael Higgins at the President's Residence in Dublin, Ireland, June 22, 2016. Also in attendance are U.S. Amb. to Ireland Kevin O'Malley, Colin Kahl, Mrs. Sabina Higgins, Ireland Amb. to the U.S. Anne Anderson; Art O’Leary, Secretary General to the President; Liam Herrick, Adviser to the President. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden attends a bilateral meeting with President Michael Higgins at the President’s Residence in Dublin, Ireland, June 22, 2016. Also in attendance are U.S. Amb. to Ireland Kevin O’Malley, Colin Kahl, Mrs. Sabina Higgins, Ireland Amb. to the U.S. Anne Anderson; Art O’Leary, Secretary General to the President; Liam Herrick, Adviser to the President. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Get the official readout from the Vice President’s bilateral meeting with President Higgins.

https://www.facebook.com/424207551102424/posts/425057531017426/
Vice President Joe Biden speaks with President Michael Higgins and First Lady Sabina Higgins following a bilateral meeting at the President’s Residence in Dublin, Ireland, June 22, 2016.  (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
 
Vice President Joe Biden waves as he departs the President's Residence following a bilateral meeting with President Michael Higgins in Dublin, Ireland, June 22, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden waves as he departs the President’s Residence following a bilateral meeting with President Michael Higgins in Dublin, Ireland, June 22, 2016.  (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden greets local students with Taoiseach Enda Kenny upon arrival at Ireland West Airport Knock in Charlestown, County Mayo, Ireland, June 22, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden greets local students with Taoiseach Enda Kenny upon arrival at Ireland West Airport Knock in Charlestown, County Mayo, Ireland, June 22, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden applauds for Irish dancers and the band the Chieftains, at Matt Malloy's pub in Westport, Ireland, June 22, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden applauds for Irish dancers and the band the Chieftains, at Matt Malloy’s pub in Westport, Ireland, June 22, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

 Day Three: Back to Dublin

  • The Vice President plays a round of golf with Taoiseach Kenny in County Mayo.
  • Afterwards, he departs County Mayo, en route to Dublin.
  • The Vice President remains in Dublin overnight.
Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with crew members outside a C-17 serving as Air Force Two, at Dublin International Airport, in Dublin Ireland, June 23, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with crew members outside a C-17 serving as Air Force Two, at Dublin International Airport, in Dublin Ireland, June 23, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden tours the Kilmainham Prison, where many of those who participated in the Easter Rising in 1916 were held, in Dublin, Ireland, June 23, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden tours the Kilmainham Prison, where many of those who participated in the Easter Rising in 1916 were held, in Dublin, Ireland, June 23, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden and grandson Hunter Biden tour one of the cells in Kilmainham Prison, where many of those who participated in the Easter Rising in 1916 were held, in Dublin, Ireland, June 23, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden and grandson Hunter Biden tour one of the cells in Kilmainham Prison, where many of those who participated in the Easter Rising in 1916 were held, in Dublin, Ireland, June 23, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Day Four: Remarks in Dublin

  • The Vice President delivers remarks at Trinity College Public Theatre.
  • Next, he tours the Trinity College Library with his family.
  • Later in the day, the Vice President delivers remarks at Dublin Castle on the Irish-American experience, the shared heritage of the two nations, and the values of tolerance, diversity, and inclusiveness.
  • Finally, the Vice President will speak at the American Ireland Fund’s 40th Anniversary Gala at Trinity College Library Square Courtyard.

“I am proud to join the ranks of American political leaders who have drawn inspiration at Trinity, and there have been many. President John Kennedy and his brother Ted Kennedy both spoke here while in office. Woodrow Wilson spent a day wandering around Trinity before he became President, his thoughts full of Edmund Burke. Even Benjamin Franklin was drawn to this beautiful campus when he visited Ireland in 1771 and found, in his words, ‘all Ireland is strongly in favor of the American cause.'”

Vice President Biden, in remarks at Dublin’s Trinity College

Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the Trinity College Public Theater, in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the Trinity College Public Theater, in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

“…Even before great waves of emigration brought so many of us Irish to the shores of America to make their home in American soil, it sharped our spirit of freedom and our drive for independence and launched an irrevocable friendship between the United States and Ireland.”

Vice President Biden, in remarks at Dublin’s Trinity College

Vice President Joe Biden looks at James Joyce manuscripts in the Trinity College Library, in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden looks at James Joyce manuscripts in the Trinity College Library, in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

“I’m overwhelmed by the hospitality of the people of Ireland; overwhelmed by the hospitality of Trinity College. And I am extremely flattered, and I wish all of you graduates — I wish you well. Go and do good.”

Vice President Biden, in remarks at Dublin’s Trinity College

Vice President Joe Biden and his grandchildren tour the Trinity College Library, in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden and his grandchildren tour the Trinity College Library, in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

“Around the same time my great-great-grandfather, Owen Finnegan, the shoemaker, boarded the Brothers on May 31, 1844, another shoemaker named Joseph Kearny, from Moneygall, sailed aboard the Caroline Reade, arriving in America just five weeks before my great-great-grandfather.

It’s doubtful they ever knew each another. But one thing we do know — they left everything behind for an uncertain future.

And in all of their dreams, could they ever have dreamt that 160 years later, two great-great-grandsons of shoemakers from Ireland would be sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States of America?”

Vice President Biden, in remarks at Dublin Castle

Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the shared heritage of our two nations, and the values of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness, at Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the shared heritage of our two nations, and the values of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness, at Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the shared heritage of our two nations, and the values of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness, at Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the shared heritage of our two nations, and the values of tolerance, diversity and inclusiveness, at Dublin Castle in Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 2016. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)
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