Taoiseach begins his St. Patrick’s Day visit to the United States
The Taoiseach begins his Saint Patrick’s Day visit to the United States today (Sunday) in Austin, the first stop of a four-city programme. The visit offers the opportunity to advance Ireland’s economic and political interests in the US, and to celebrate new and old cultural and community ties between the two countries.
In Austin, the Taoiseach will promote Irish innovation at the South by Southwest festival and meet the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. He will also meet representatives of the Irish community in Texas. On Monday 12 March, the Taoiseach will travel to the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma to commemorate the relief the Tribe provided to Ireland during the Great Famine.
On Tuesday 13 March, the Taoiseach travels to Washington D.C. where he will deliver a foreign policy address to the Brookings Institution. That evening, the Taoiseach and Senator George Mitchell will be keynote speakers at a Congressional event marking the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
Trade promotion is the focus of the programme on Wednesday 14 March. The Taoiseach will meet senior representatives of Irish companies succeeding in the US market, and hold separate roundtable discussions with members of the US Chamber of Commerce to promote Ireland as an investment location. That evening, the Taoiseach addresses the annual American Ireland Fund Gala Dinner.
On Thursday 15 March, the Taoiseach's programme includes a bilateral meeting with President Trump at the White House and engagements on Capitol Hill, including the annual lunch hosted by Speaker of the House. The Taoiseach will use these opportunities to emphasise the strength of Irish-US relations and to highlight the case of the undocumented Irish. In the afternoon, the traditional shamrock ceremony will take place as part of the White House Saint Patrick’s Day Reception. The Taoiseach will be guest of honour at a breakfast hosted by Vice President Pence on the morning of 16 March.
The final leg of the Taoiseach’s visit brings him to New York for a community, economic and cultural programme. On Friday 16 March, following a business lunch with the media company Bloomberg, the Taoiseach will visit the Manhattan site of the new Irish Arts Centre before meeting the representatives of the main Irish immigrant centres. He will speak at a reception for the Irish community in New York and announce the launch of the New York Washington Ireland Program.
The Taoiseach’s visit concludes on Saturday 17 March with the traditional New York Saint Patrick’s Day programme, including a meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Saint Patrick’s Cathedral mass and walking in the Fifth Avenue parade.