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US President Joe Biden has informed the Government he wants to make a proper state visit to Ireland.
Officials from both sides of the Atlantic have had a number of chats about when it will happen.
The President has indicated he wants to visit both Louth and Mayo where his relatives come from and to meet up with his cousins.
He also would like to spend three to four days so he can meet and greet as many people as possible.
The Taoiseach Micheal Martin is hoping to meet President Biden twice in the next several months.
They are due to link up at a meeting of the UN Security Council of which Ireland is now a member in the late autumn and then again at the White House for St Patrick’s Day, next March.
US vice president Joe Biden visits his ancestral home of Ballina in 2016
Micheal Martin didn’t get to Washington earlier this year to present the traditional bowl of shamrock because of the Covid pandemic.
No date has been agreed yet for the Biden visit but it will either be in the second half of next year or in 2023.
An Irish Government source said: “There have been informal talks with the Americans.
“President Biden definitely wants to visit Ireland, it is just a case of when the pandemic subsides in both countries and we can agree on the exact date.”
No American President is more proud of his Irish roots than Joe Biden.
Everywhere he goes he always describes himself as Irish and he knows every detail of his family history.
His great-great grand-father Patrick Blewitt was born in Ballina, Co Mayo, in 1832 and left Ireland in the autumn of 1850 for America.
He came back to Ireland the following year to bring his parents and brothers and sisters back with him to the US. The family settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania and worked in the mining industry.
The President’s other great-great grandfather was Owen Finnegan from Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth.
They moved to Seneca, New York in the late 1840s. Owen died in 1874 and then his great-grandfather James moved to Scranton with his wife Catherine Roche and they had six children.
One of the Finnegan children, Ambrose then married Geraldine Blewitt.
Their daughter Jean Finnegan was born in 1917 and is Joe’s mother.
She married Joe Biden Snr and they had four children of which the President is the youngest.
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