Taoiseach Micheál Martin has spoken in praise of Democratic candidate Joe Biden as he battles for the White House with incumbent Donald Trump.
Mr Martin said he had met the former Vice President, who had a love of Ireland and was aware of his heritage and roots in this country.
But he did not endorse candidate Biden, saying: “We take a non-partisan approach to elections in other countries, particularly in other democracies.”
Ireland must deny Donald Trump any public relations opportunities in the run-up to November’s US elections, the Dáil was earlier told.
Richard Boyd Barrett warned about even “inadvertent” publicity for the Republican candidate’s re-election bid, adding: “This guy is a threat to democracy.”
The Taoiseach did not comment on President Trump – but appeared to praise his rival’s love of Ireland.
He said he had met the Democratic candidate, former Vice President Biden “some years ago at a breakfast event.”
Mr Martin said: “He is proud of his Irish heritage and has a great love for this country.” Mr Biden has roots in Mayo and Galway.
But the Taoiseach added: “We will continue to work consistently with both sides of the aisle in the United States' political system and that will not change.”
The Taoiseach said he recently spoke on the phone with Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's special envoy for Northern Ireland. He also spoke to Rep. Richard Neal of the Congressional Friends of Ireland.
“Both of them were still concerned about the situation here with Brexit, and so on. We speak to both sides of the aisle on a continuing basis and we do not interfere in the electoral contest itself,’ Mr Martin said.