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.
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.
— VP Biden Live (@VPLive) June 21, 2016