Legendary Irish folk band The Chieftains, as well as Irish rock bands The Coronas and The Academic, will be among the musical acts to perform in Ballina, Co Mayo, this Friday, April 14, prior to a public address by US President Joe Biden.

“I am delighted to announce that Irish bands The Coronas and The Academic and six-time Grammy Award-winning Irish folk band The Chieftains will be among those playing for President Biden and our Irish guests in Ballina on Friday night," US Ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin said.

"The Chieftains played for President Biden when he visited Ireland in 2016. This reunion of the band and President Biden will be an emotional one, since we lost the legendary Paddy Moloney in 2021.

"I am honoured to say that The Chieftains will reunite one last time in honour of President Biden and play together for the first time since Paddy’s passing.”

Ambassador Cronin continued: “I visited Ballina earlier this week, and the excitement and anticipation is palpable.

"This will be a once-in-a-generation event, and I hope families and friends across the country will come to see the President of the United States speak in one of the places where his Irish family’s American journey began.”

🎤 Musical Performances Announced! 🥁@TheCoronas @TheAcademic @thechieftains

📅 Friday April 14
⛪️ Outside St. Muredach’s Cathedral
⏰ Gates 5:30PM

Register to attend
➡️ https://t.co/1iYD6TBFek pic.twitter.com/DzMdULORek

— Ambassador Claire Cronin (@USAmbIreland) April 12, 2023

In 2016, The Chieftains performed at Matt Molloy's Pub in Westport, Co Mayo to welcome then-Vice President Joe Biden:

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arriving at Matt Molloy's pub listening to The Chieftains

Posted by Matt Molloy's pub on Thursday, June 23, 2016

Biden's public address at St. Muredach's Cathedral in Ballina on Friday, April 14 will be an outdoor event and is free and open to the public on a first come, first serve basis. 

Anyone wishing to attend Biden's address in Ballina should register online here or at  ie.usembassy.gov to receive additional information.

Gates will open at 5:30 pm on Friday and the official program will begin at 7 pm. 

There are two entrances to the site, one near the junctions of Barret and Tolan Streets and the other near the junction of Dillon Terrace and Lower Pearse Street. Both entrances will only be accessible by foot.

If coming from the Town Side of River Moy, proceed to one of two gated entrances, (1) at the junction of Barret and Tolan Streets or (2) at the junction of Dillon Terrace and Lower Pearse Street.

If coming by foot from the Ardnaree side of River Moy, the only access will be via the pedestrian bridge; once on the Town Side, attendees can proceed to the gated entrances listed above.

All guests should be prepared for security screening similar to airport screening. Large bags and umbrellas will not be permitted. 

Upper and Lower Bridge, Cathedral Road, and Emmet Street will be closed. There is no official event parking near the site. 

The Bus Eireann bus depot is located less than 1 km from the entrances, a 10-minute walk. The Irish Rail train station is located just over 1 km from the entrances, a 15-minute walk.

A free, optional, limited shuttle bus service will be provided to and from the event and available on a first come first, serve basis. Shuttles will begin departing park-and-shuttle locations at 4:30 pm. The last shuttle to the event will depart at 7:00 pm. Return shuttles can be picked up at the pre-event drop-off location and will begin when the evening’s programme concludes.

Park and Shuttle locations:

  • Zone 1 – Knockmore: GA A Car Park, Drop-off and return location: Junction of James Street & Hill Street
  • Zone 2 – Castleconnor Community Centre Car-Park: Drop-off and return location: Bunree Industrial Estate
  • Zone 3 – Crossmolina: various parking around town, Drop-off and return location: Mercy Road
  • Zone 4 – North Ballina: McVann Furniture, Killala Road, Drop-off and return location: Bohernasup

An Garda Síochána said that Biden will travel from Dublin Airport to Ireland West Airport in Co Mayo on Friday afternoon, April 14. Normal operations will continue at Ireland West Airport at all times, however, traveling members of the public should allow additional time to arrive at the airport due to possible temporary road closures.