Irish-American relationship born of emigration – Varadkar
he Irish-American relationship was hailed as one of “two proud democracies, close friends and business partners” by Leo Varadkar ahead of his St Patrick’s Day visit to the White House.
The Irish PM made the remarks at a reception at the residence of Ireland’s Ambassador to the US, Geraldine Byrne Nason, where he praised Ireland’s 14 Oscar nominations.
He said Irish-American relations “had taken root and grew from the contribution of millions of Irish expats who came here over the years to lend their talents and energies to the creation of modern America.
The Irish and Scottish Irish came here from a troubled homeland to make a new life for themselves and their families and they thrived
“The Irish and Scottish Irish came here from a troubled homeland to make a new life for themselves and their families and they prospered.”
Among those in attendance were DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, UN Special Envoy for Northern Ireland Joe Kennedy III and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as Mr Varadkar’s partner Matt Barrett.
It comes after Mr Varadkar apologized for a “rash” remark made during a speech in Washington DC on Thursday in what is seen as an apparent reference to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.
While recalling his experiences as an intern in the United States, the Taoiseach referred to possible concerns about being an intern in the US capital at the time.
Mr Varadkar made the comments during a speech to the Washington Ireland Program which helps young people develop job skills, which Mr Varadkar attended in 2000.
The Taoiseach’s comment came hours after attending an event honoring women’s role in the Good Friday Agreement, where he praised Hillary Clinton for her sustained commitment to Northern Ireland.
A spokesman for Mr Varadkar said in a statement after the event: “At today’s Washington Ireland Program event, the Taoiseach recalled his time as an intern in Washington DC 23 years ago.
“He made a thoughtless remark which he regrets. He apologizes for any insults inflicted on those affected.”
Former US President Bill Clinton and Mrs Clinton are set to play a leading role in commemorations of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement planned in Northern Ireland next month.
The remarks were made at one of the lesser-publicized events of the Taoiseach’s three-day DC itinerary, which took place between engagements with high-profile figures in politics and business.
Monica Lewinsky was a young White House intern when she and then-US President Bill Clinton began dating in the 1990s.
She was pilloried for years after the scandal broke.
The affair almost forced Mr. Clinton out of office, and Ms. Lewinsky has spoken about the devastating impact it had on her life in the years that followed.
Mr Varadkar sat alongside Hillary Clinton at Thursday morning’s event at Georgetown University and focused on the role of women in the peace process in Northern Ireland.
The Taoiseach’s controversial comments about interns later in the day came ahead of his meeting with President Joe Biden Friday at the White House to mark St. Patrick’s Day.
At a bilateral meeting, the two politicians are expected to discuss the President’s planned visit to the island of Ireland next month.
Mr Varadkar will also thank Joe Biden for supporting his government during the Brexit process.
The Taoiseach’s visit will culminate in a high-profile ceremony in which the US President will be presented with a crystal bowl of shamrocks at the White House.
Friday’s program begins with a breakfast date for Mr. Varadkar with US Vice President Kamala Harris.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/leo-varadkar-hillary-clinton-monica-lewinsky-washington-dc-oscar-b1067998.html Irish-American relationship born of emigration – Varadkar