Kenny reciprocated by thanking his hosts in Washington and commenting on the constructive meeting they have had.
The Irish leader said, “We referred to the possibility of an opportunity to travel again to Ireland, and the President has confirmed that in due course. Obviously, he's got a little matter to attend to here in America between this and that. But I just wanted to say to you that it's a reestablishment, if you like, and a redefining of the absolutely unique relationship that there is between Ireland and the United States.
“I pointed out to President Obama since my visit here to Chicago, his home city, the extraordinary outpouring of enthusiasm and exuberance in the streets of Chicago on Saturday, and my visit to Notre Dame in South Bend, and the opportunities that we had in New York to meet with Irish American business, with American investment business, the Ireland Investment Day at the stock exchange.
And here in Washington for the past two days has been simply outstanding. And it confirms my belief that the reputation of our country has been restored internationally, and that the unique relationship that we've always had with the United States for so many reasons is exceptionally strong. And I told the President of the great work being done by Ambassador Rooney, but also that Ireland respects America for what it does, both in our own context, but also to keep the world a safer place for the hundreds of millions of people who look for real leadership in this regard.”
The party then continued on to a lunch held in the Rayburn Room, in the Capitol, where they were greeted by David O’Leary singing “Oh Danny Boy”.
During the meal, the President sat next to House Speaker John Boehner, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was seated at another table.
As the party emerged from lunch to return to the White House, bagpipes and drums lined the steps.
The day’s festivities will continue into the evening and Washington celebrates what Kenny has dubbed “St. Patrick’s Week”.
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