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President Obama with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the White House last year. Photo by: Marty Katz / Photocall Ireland

Irish leader travels to DC, Boston and New York for St. Patrick’s Day

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President Obama with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the White House last year. Photo by: Marty Katz / Photocall Ireland

The Irish government contingent traveling to the U.S. for the St. Patrick’s season is being led by Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny, who will visit New York, Boston and Washington during his six-day stay which also includes the annual Irish visit to the White House on Friday, March 14.

Kenny arrives in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday the 12th and has a full slate of engagements the next day which include speeches at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the morning, and the annual American Ireland Fund dinner that evening which is honoring Vice President Joe Biden.

On Friday the 14th Kenny, accompanied by his wife Fionnuala, will speak at the annual St. Patrick’s breakfast hosted by Biden at the vice president’s official residence in the U.S. Naval Observatory.  

Afterwards he will meet President Obama for nearly an hour at the White House; the annual speaker’s luncheon at the Capitol hosted by John Boehner follows. Obama and a bipartisan gathering of politicians are expected to attend.

Later in the day the Kennys will return to the White House for the annual St. Patrick’s reception hosted by the Obamas.  Hundreds of invited Americans from across the country will convene for Irish food and entertainment, and the traditional presentation of shamrock from Kenny to Obama, from 4-6 p.m.

Kenny has no public engagements on Saturday, and on Sunday has a full day of activity in Boston. He’ll attend a breakfast hosted by Massachusetts State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, followed by a Mass and family party at the New England Irish Cultural Center.  Evening events include a reception with business and economic groups at the Irish Consulate in Boston, and a visit to the USS Constitution Museum.

On Monday morning, Kenny will be in New York to attend an Irish breakfast hosted by new Mayor Bill de Blasio at Gracie Mansion.  He will also attend the St. Patrick’s Mass celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Irish Chamber of Commerce breakfast.  Kenny will then march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Avenue.

A series of New York business meetings have been scheduled for March 18. Kenny is expected to depart New York that afternoon.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton will be in New York representing the Irish government this week through St. Patrick’s Day.  She will not, however, march in the parade because gay groups are not permitted to march.

A number of other ministers are representing Ireland in cities including Chicago, Atlanta and San Francisco.

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