Diarmaid Ferriter: Biden's words likely to surpass deeds on Ireland

US foreign policy focused more on China, climate change, Russia and Middle East

US president Joe Biden spoke in glowing terms of his relationship with Ireland during the bilateral meeting with Taoiseach Micheál Martin. Video: RTÉ

What will be the gulf between the poetry of attachment and the prose of exercising power and diplomacy when it comes to Joe Biden and Ireland? Much has been made of the American president’s invocation of his Irish heritage and Washington duly waved the green flag this week.

It follows on from the words of Biden during his Irish visit in 2016 when he declared “Ireland will be written on my soul”. He spoke of the “Irish values” that shaped him: “passion and principle, faith and fortitude”. He also praised the “hard choices” made by politicians in Northern Ireland and suggested those Irish illegally in America “deserve to be able to take the steps to gain their citizenship”.

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