US President Joe Biden joked that he was "not really Irish" because he has never drunk alcohol and his relatives were not "in jail".
Speaking at the traditional Friends of Ireland Luncheon in Washington on St. Patrick's Day, Biden referenced his Irish heritage and noted that his ancestors were never arrested.
"I’ve been to Ireland many times, but not to actually look up, to find my actual family members. And there are so many - and they actually weren’t in jail," Biden told the crowd on Friday.
"There’s still a place called Finnegan’s pub … that’s related to my family," Biden continued. "I’m the only Irishman you ever met, though, that’s never had a drink, so I’m OK. I’m really not Irish."
Biden also spoke at the traditional Shamrock Ceremony at the White House later on St. Patrick's Day, reflecting on the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
"Now it's incumbent on all of us to continue to foster that peace and continue to find common cause so that our work may continue to bear fruit for generations to come," Biden told the crowd gathered at the White House.
Biden also reiterated his support for the Windsor Framework, which aims to resolve the post-Brexit trade dispute that has caused the collapse of power-sharing in Stormont.
Speaking directly to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Biden said: "we both agree that the recently announced Windsor Framework is an important step.
"We had a long discussion with the Prime Minister of Great Britain about that a week ago in California. That's going to preserve and strengthen the Good Friday Agreement."
The Shamrock Ceremony featured a performance from Irish musician Niall Horan, with Biden inviting the Irish star to "come back anytime".
"It’s amazing what song does, and you do it so well. Come back anytime," Biden told Horan after the performance.