Remarks by Vice President Harris And Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Ireland Before St. Patrick’s Day Welcome Breakfast

Remarks by Vice President Harris And Taoiseach Leo Varadkar of Eire Earlier than St. Patrick’s Day Welcome Breakfast

Vice President’s Residence
Washington, D.C.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS:  Good morning, everybody.  Good morning and welcome and Completely satisfied St. Patrick’s Day. 
I’m honored — Doug and I — the Second Gentleman — are honored to welcome the Taoiseach and Mr. Barrett to the Vice President’s Residence.  You’ve been right here earlier than.  It’s a nice honor of ours, as the USA, to know that now we have an everlasting relationship not solely with Eire however with its leaders.  And so welcome to you each.  Welcome to you each. 
We’re joined in the present day by many dignitaries, together with a member of the Cupboard: Secretary of the Veterans Affairs Administration, Secretary McDonough.  And to all of you, welcome, welcome, welcome. 
I’m excited that we’re resuming this custom of recognizing and welcoming the Taoiseach on the event of St.  Patrick’s Day to the USA. 
As you all know, Vice President Biden — this was one in all his most explicit joys as Vice President.  (Laughter.)  And as you all know, he’s fairly exuberant in that pleasure, and I now have caught the bug.  (Laughter and applause.)
And our two international locations, as we all know — and the Taoiseach and I had been in a position to focus on a bit earlier than we got here in — our two nations have such a deep, lengthy, and enduring historical past collectively.  And that’s by our individuals, and it’s by our traditions, and it’s by our widespread values and priorities because it pertains to worldwide guidelines and norms and the place we stand in solidarity on so many points — together with, most not too long ago, the difficulty of Ukraine and what we should do to face collectively, joined with our allies, to talk out towards Russia’s unprovoked aggressions in Ukraine. 
After I consider the connection between our nations, we additionally — and the President will discuss this later in the present day when he meets with the Taoiseach — cherish the hard-earned and -won peace in Northern Eire from the Good Friday Settlement.  And it marks its anniversary, after all, this April.  And it’s one thing that we take fairly significantly and the President has been fairly outspoken about, by way of our dedication. 
And as President Biden has mentioned, the Windsor Framework is an important step to make sure peace and progress and to make sure that it’s strengthened and preserved. 
I do know that the President will focus on these issues with you later.  And as you and I spoke privately, once more, he takes these points very significantly. 
At the moment can also be, after all, a day to have fun the longstanding relationships and the nice pleasure that we, as Individuals, soak up our Irish roots.  (Laughter.) 
Within the mid-Nineteenth century, hundreds of Irish immigrants made their method — I’ll communicate now as some extent of non-public privilege — made their solution to California — (laughter) — throughout the Gold Rush.
And as lots of you already know, most of my profession I spent in San Francisco, which has a protracted and robust pleasure in its Irish roots.  And — and I’ll say that the Irish and the immigrants who got here generations in the past have formed the historical past and the tradition of the USA, however I’ll communicate specifically about California and its impression there. 
In 1867, lots of it’s possible you’ll know, greater than a decade earlier than New York or Boston elected an Irish mayor, San Francisco elected Frank McCoppin of County Longford.  (Applause.)  Sure, I’m glad to teach everybody right here — (laughs) — about these relationships.
And one in all my favourite tales is of Kate Kennedy.  Initially from County Meath, she led the Equal Pay for Equal Work marketing campaign in 1874 in California.  And, after all, simply this week — or final week — we right here in the USA celebrated Equal Pay Day.  Longstanding relationships and dedication based mostly on widespread values and priorities. 
And allow us to quick ahead, then, to 2023.  Once more, I’ll make a California reference.  (Laughter.)  On the Oscars earlier this week, Irish expertise was nominated for 14 awards and took house two wins. 
After which, yesterday, it’s my understanding the Taoiseach visited my alma mater, Howard College, to have fun and strengthen packages between the scholars there and the Smurfit Enterprise Faculty in Dublin. 
So, by this and plenty of different exchanges, together with the — the pleasure that each Eire and the USA take within the relationship between Frederick Douglass and Eire, we present that by the years, by generations, it is a robust and enduring relationship that makes us all very proud. 
And so, with that, Completely satisfied St. Patrick’s Day.  I’ll now increase a glass to toast the Taoiseach, Mr. Barrett, and all of you on St. Patrick’s Day.  Completely satisfied St. Patrick’s Day.  Cheers.
(A toast is obtainable.)
Okay, the Taoiseach is now going to talk.  Thanks.
TAOISEACH VARADKAR:  Good morning, everybody.  Vice President Harris; Second Gentleman, Mr. Doug Emhoff; distinguished company and pals.  As we come collectively this St. Patrick’s Day morning within the breaking of bread, we enact what’s a most historic and enduring expression of friendship honored throughout cultures. 
So, thanks very a lot, Madam Vice President, for inviting Matt and me to be right here in your lovely house and for persevering with that very particular custom which was initiated by President Biden when he was resident right here.
As medical doctors and as proud members of the LGBT neighborhood, permit us to say how impressed we’ve been by your private advocacy for marriage equality, significantly in relation to Proposition 8, and likewise your protection of the Inexpensive Well being Care Act. 
From — from Stonewall to Sacramento to San Francisco, America has led the best way relating to LGBT equality.  I don’t suppose I’d be right here in the present day had been it not for what America did.  And I do know you’ve been such a powerful ally for our neighborhood in that regard.  Thanks for that.  (Applause.)
I additionally need to acknowledge your function in defending the Inexpensive Well being Care Act specifically.  And we’ve an identical program in Eire known as Sláintecare.  We’re abolishing hospital expenses; capping the price of prescription medicines; abolishing physician charges — physician’s charges for youngsters, for seniors, and for these on modest incomes; and we’re phasing out non-public follow in public hospitals. 
So, I believe on these agendas, now we have a lot in widespread and likewise a lot to do. 
This 12 months, as you already know, we’re marking many anniversaries in Eire: 25 years for the reason that Good Friday Settlement, 50 years since we joined the European Union, and 100 years since we joined the League of Nations.
And the worldwide panorama has modified dramatically within the sweep of time.  For Eire, nonetheless, one relationship has endured all through: our shut and deep bond with these United States.  And we’re all the time grateful for that. 
So, Madam Vice President, in the present day I need to acknowledge the central function which the U.S. has performed within the peace course of on our island, driving it ahead at important factors, when few others had the affect to take action. 
To mark this, Madam Vice President, my delegation and I are presenting you with an Irish silver bell as a token of our appreciation and as an emblem of the rules that our international locations maintain expensive: peace and freedom. 
In fact, I’m additionally aware of the particular resonance {that a} bell has right here in the USA, with the world-renowned Liberty Bell, a logo of your freedom and independence, of hope and equality — rules that may encourage us for the following 25 years. 
As we glance to the longer term, the settlement reached between the EU and the UK, which you talked about earlier — the Wes- — the Windsor Framework — has the potential to revive superb relations between Eire and the UK, and to revive relations and establishments of the Good Friday Settlement: the All Social gathering Meeting, the power-sharing Government, and the North/South Ministerial Council. 
It must also hop- — assist to open a brand new chapter in relations between the EU and the UK. 
We’re not fairly there but.  However I believe with good religion on all sides — and now we have that — and the assistance of our persevering with pals right here in America, we are able to get there.
Madam Vice President, as we work to underpin peace in Eire, we can’t be struck by its abs- — can’t not be struck by its absence in different components of the world. 
And most particularly, we consider the terribly courageous individuals of Ukraine, who’ve endured greater than a 12 months of struggling by the hands of Russian invaders.  And we stand with them for so long as it takes.
Russia’s battle is a menace to the worldwide order on which all of us rely.  It’s an affront to human decency.  And we are going to work collectively to carry its perpetrators to account.
And once more, I need to thanks for the management that the U.S. has proven on this challenge.  And thanks, Madam Vice President, on behalf of Eire and all of Europe, in your management on this most essential matter. 
Go raibh míle maith agaibh. Thanks once more for the very heat welcome, in your variety hospitality right here. 
La Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh go leir.  Completely satisfied St. Patrick’s Day to you all.  Thanks.  (Applause.)

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