Tuesday 28 March 2017

Ireland is the only country guaranteed an annual date at the White House

US President Barack Obama laughs with the Taoiseach’s wife Fionnuala Kenny during a St Patrick’s Day reception at the White House. Photo: Reuters
US President Barack Obama laughs with the Taoiseach’s wife Fionnuala Kenny during a St Patrick’s Day reception at the White House. Photo: Reuters

Kevin O’Malley

Seven years ago, First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama requested that the water in the White House fountain be dyed green - similar to a Chicago tradition, wherein the city greens its river for the St Patrick's Day festivities.

This gesture complemented and continued an annual tradition that affirms one of the greatest bilateral relationships in the world. Ireland is the only country in the world guaranteed an annual invitation to the White House. The meeting between the President of the United States and An Taoiseach gives us an opportunity to talk about some of the very important bilateral issues that we face, and also to address global issues in response to which our two countries are taking leadership.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly identified entrepreneurship as one of the brightest hopes for expanding economic opportunity and creating jobs. Since the president first launched the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Washington DC five years ago, hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs have been empowered to launch thousands of new businesses and creative initiatives.

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