Tuesday, March 12, 2013

President Obama To Celebrate St. Patrick's Day At The White House On March 19

Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland will visit; Capitol Hill luncheon and evening reception planned...
UPDATE 2: POTUS played hoops on St. Pat's
UPDATE 1: POTUS's Irish cousin Henry Healy will visit 
President O'bama will revel in his maternal Irish roots all day on Tuesday, March 19 when he belatedly celebrates St. Patrick's Day at the White House.  As is tradition, he will welcome Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland to 1600 Penn, the White House announced today. (Above, with Kenny in the Oval in 2012)  

The President and Taoiseach will have an Oval Office bilateral in the morning before attending the traditional St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at the U.S. Capitol.  In the evening, the President and First Lady Michelle Obama will host their annual St. Pat's reception at the White House.  

"During the reception, the President and Kenny will participate in the annual Shamrock ceremony started under President Truman," the White House said.  The tradition includes the presentation of shamrock in a crystal bowl.  The occasion will be President Obama's fifth St. Patrick's Day celebration at the White House.

The President will also greet First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Northern Ireland at the White House on March 19 to "discuss their progress toward meeting their shared commitment to a peaceful and prosperous future for the people of Northern Ireland," the White House said.

"The United States and Ireland share a strong bilateral partnership, enduring people-to-people ties, and a commitment to advancing peace, security and prosperity in the world," the White House said.

President Obama isn't the only proud Irishman in the White House:  Vice President Joe Biden is also thrilled with his Irish heritage, and has typically hosted a breakfast in the morning when Irish dignitaries visit for St. Patrick's Day.

President Obama's maternal Irish roots, dating to 1761 in Moneygall, Ireland, were discovered when he first ran for office in 2008.  Last year he welcomed his closest living relation, eighth cousin Henry Healy, to the White House for St. Pat's.  On Saturday, March 17, 2012, the two visited DC's The Dubliner, a storied Irish pub located steps away from Capitol Hill.  As they raised pints at 1:00 PM, they were joined by Ollie Hayes, the publican who hosted a Guinness fest at his Moneygall pub when President Obama visited the little town in County Offaly.  (Above, Healy is center, and Hayes is at right)

On Election Night in 2012, Healy celebrated his cousin's big win in Ireland, raising a pint with expats in Dublin at the US Embassy's party.

*Photos by Pete Souza/White House