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12th Feb 2021

Micheál Martin’s US trip in doubt due to limit on public events at the White House

Rudi Kinsella

saint patrick's day

No invite has been offered for the annual trip as of yet.

The White House has yet to confirm if the annual visit of the Taoiseach on St. Patrick’s Day can go ahead this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking on Thursday, a spokesperson for US President Joe Biden said that public events have not been taking place at the White House under current circumstances and could not confirm whether that will impact on a potential visit by Taoiseach Micheál Martin to the US capital next month.

Asked about the potential visit, Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, said: “We certainly have limited public events. There has not been public events here. I’m happy to check with our team on that, if there’s any change as it relates to a traditional event that happens in March.”

Psaki also said that she has a “special place in her heart” for Ireland.

Micheál Martin has not yet been invited to Washington for the St. Patrick’s Day visit, but he has said that if he is invited, he will make the trip.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on Thursday morning, Martin said that there are ongoing engagements between Irish officials and officials in The White House over the annual visit.

An Taoiseach had previously said that the annual meetings are not just “about a bowl of shamrock”, and that there are many reasons why his attendance is important.