Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Louise Burne

Joe Biden arrives in Dublin to lashing rain, Varadkar welcome and kids' questions

US President Joe Biden shimmied down the stairs of Air Force One to greet Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at a wet Dublin Airport this afternoon.

And it was not only the Taoiseach who gave Mr Biden a warm welcome, as children of Irish Embassy staff quizzed the President on his dogs and asked him to reveal his secret to success.

Air Force One arrived at Dublin Airport shortly before 3:15pm on Wednesday afternoon after transporting the President and his delegation – including his sister Valerie Biden Owen and son Hunter – from Belfast.

READ MORE - Joe Biden in Ireland LIVE: Full itinerary, schedule and road closures as US President lands at Dublin Airport

The weather did not dampen Mr Biden’s spirits as he bounced down the stairs to meet the Taoiseach, who he had entertained in Washington DC for St Patrick’s Day last month.

Although he had an umbrella in his hand, it was not until Mr Varadkar placed his own brolly over Mr Biden that he was sheltered from the lashing rain.

President Joe Biden speaks with people at Dublin International Airport in Dublin, Ireland, Wednesday, April 12, 2023. President Biden's sister Valerie Biden Owens and son Hunter Biden look on. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) ((AP Photo/Patrick Semansky))

Despite the cold weather, there was a warm conversation between Mr Biden and Mr Varadkar, which some later commented lasted longer than his meeting with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday evening at Belfast Airport.

He also met Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, John Callinan, Secretary General at the Department of the Taoiseach, Paul Kavanagh, Chief of Protocol at the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland and Claire Cronin, Ambassador of the United States to Ireland.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also joined them on the tarmac.

Before departing Dublin Airport, Mr Biden and his delegation travelled to the fire station situated in Dublin Airport to meet 250 US Embassy staff and their children.

Mr Biden thanked them for meeting with him, as he remarked about the importance of firefighters.

US President Joe Biden arrives at the Dublin International airport (Getty Images)

He later went over to greet children and even took a few of their questions.

One child showed the President his toy replica of the Air Force One plane.

Mr Biden replied: "Look at this! Air Force One."

Another child asked President Biden about the key to success. He responded by saying it was important to remember that when you disagree with someone, "you can question their judgement but you should never question their motives."

This, he said, would make it impossible to reach an agreement with anyone.

Another child asked Mr Biden how his dogs Major and Commander were. He ensured that they were "doing well."

The cavalcade then departed Dublin Airport, with Mr Biden in The Beast. The delegation was supposed to travel to Louth via helicopter. However, the bad weather put a halt to those plans and he was forced to travel by road.

Mr Biden is due to travel back to Dublin tonight, where he will stay in a city centre hotel.

There will be a number of political engagements in Dublin tomorrow. This includes a meeting with Irish President Michael D Higgins in Áras an Uachtaráin and a meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Famleigh.

Sources told The Irish Mirror today that Mr Varadkar and President Biden will discuss the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and its significance for Northern Ireland today, as well as the current state of play and any update from Mr Biden’s visit to the North.

They will also discuss bilateral Irish-US relations, including the undocumented Irish in the US, investment in each other’s countries and EU and US relations. It is also expected that the war in Ukraine, the global economy and inflation will be discussed.

President Biden will deliver a historic address to a joint sitting of the Oireachtas tomorrow afternoon. Excited TDs and Senators will cut their Easter holidays short in order to see him become just the fourth US President to address the Irish parliament.

Politicians were issued strict instructions on Tuesday night to turn up at Leinster House before 12pm. As reported in The Irish Mirror last week, TDs and Senators were informed that they cannot park on the complex.

The Dáil bar and restaurant will close between 2pm and 5pm, with only the member’s bar open during the day. They have also been advised to take antigen tests if they want to be in the Dáil chamber for the address.

Mr Biden’s day will finish with a banquet at Dublin Castle, hosted by the Taoiseach.


Get news updates direct to your inbox by signing up to our daily newsletter here

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.