A meeting of the Ireland-United States Parliamentary Friendship group was hosted in the Dáil chamber in Dublin today, Friday, August 25.
Some 200 US legislators were in attendance alongside Irish politicians for the event that was requested by Senator Mark Daly, the Oireachtas's liaison to the US State Legislators, and Fianna Fáil TD Paul McAuliffe, convenor of the Oireachtas United States Parliamentary Friendship group.
Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl granted permission for the historic event on the foot of Daly and McAuliffe's request, RTÉ reports.
According to the Irish Examiner, Friday's gathering was set to be the largest meeting of State and Federal Legislators ever to take place in Ireland.
Earlier today in Leinster House, a meeting of the Ireland – United States Parliamentary Friendship Group & an event for State House Representatives took place. #SeeForYourself 🇮🇪🇺🇸August 25, 2023
Among those in attendance at Friday's meeting was US Senator Chris Murphy, who is leading a bipartisan congressional delegation to London and Dublin this week.
Our delegation is taking part in a inter-parliamentary meeting of Irish and American legislators. Here is our delegation on the way into today’s session in the Irish Dail. pic.twitter.com/Qdgcxyv5ia— Chris Murphy 🟧 (@ChrisMurphyCT) August 25, 2023
Carol Murphy, a New Jersey State Assemblywoman, said it was a "tremendous honor" to speak in Leinster House on Friday.
It was a tremendous honor to speak at Leinster House (Irish House of Parliament) about the relationship between our nations, the @AmericanIrishSL work where I proudly serve as a national co-chair with a great group of legislators. Thank you to @SenatorMarkDaly for his vision. pic.twitter.com/oo3jiDbhc5— Carol Murphy (@carolmurphyNJ) August 25, 2023
Friday's meeting in the Dáil was held as two US congressional delegations are visiting Ireland ahead of Saturday's Aer Lingus College Football Classic game between Notre Dame and Navy.
Senator Christopher Murphy from Connecticut and Congressman Pat Fallon from Texas are leading the delegations, according to Tánaiste Micheál Martin's office.
Martin said he was "delighted" to welcome the American visitors to a lunch at Iveagh House on Friday.
"My colleagues in Government and I are deeply appreciative of the longstanding bipartisan US Congressional support for peace on this island, particularly as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement this year," Martin said.
"I look forward to a productive exchange with Senator Chris Murphy, Representative Pat Fallon, and their Congressional colleagues, on all aspects of Ireland’s relations with the United States.
"In particular, I look forward to discussing our vibrant economic and trade relationship; our strong people-to-people links, and how these are enhanced through migration flows in both directions; and of course the success of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic series in strengthening these ties.
"We will also discuss key international issues affecting Irish and American citizens, including Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and how Ireland can play a constructive role in strengthening the EU-US relationship now and into the future."
Deeply appreciative of the longstanding US Congressional support for peace on this island, particularly as we mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement pic.twitter.com/mE43a9euXK— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) August 25, 2023
Also on hand at Friday's luncheon was Ireland's Ambassador to the US Geraldine Byrne-Nason.
Wonderful to join Tánaiste @MichealMartinTD in Iveagh House to welcome members of Congress who’ve travelled to Ireland for this weekend’s College Football Classic.
Welcoming many Washington DC friends to our home island.
“It’s more than just a game” pic.twitter.com/XtDTEPBSoX— Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason (@IrelandAmbUSA) August 25, 2023
On Friday night, the American Irish State Legislator Caucus hosted a dinner in Dublin's Mansion House to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. The US Ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin was among those in attendance.
Excited to be a part of a historic gathering of members of Congress and state legislators at Mansion House. Strong 🇺🇸🇮🇪 parliamentary ties are the bedrock of our historic relationship.August 25, 2023
The Tánaiste's office noted that this is the first US Congressional delegation to travel to Ireland since the visit of President Biden earlier this year. The visit follows a period of active Irish Government engagement in the US. The Taoiseach, Tánaiste, and seven Government Ministers travelled to key cities across the United States as part of the international St Patrick’s Day programme for 2023.
Friday's meetings in Dublin came a day after nearly 200 US delegates visited Stormont in Belfast to, in part, listen to a panel featuring representatives from Northern Ireland's five main political parties.