Irish politicians have extended warm wishes after Representative Nancy Pelosi, the outgoing Speaker of the US House of Representatives, announced on November 17 that she will not seek reelection for Democratic leadership when Congress convenes in January.
“I will not seek reelection to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi, 82, said in the House chamber on Thursday.
“For me, the hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic caucus that I so deeply respect, and I’m grateful that so many are ready and willing to shoulder this awesome responsibility.”
Pelosi, who cruised to reelection in the recent midterm elections, said she will continue to represent the people of San Francisco in the House of Representatives.
The first and only woman to have served as Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Pelosi has been consistently vocal about her support for the Good Friday Agreement.
In May, she issued a statement reaffirming the US support of the Northern Ireland Protocol, noting that “the Good Friday Accords are the bedrock of peace in Northern Ireland and a beacon of hope for the entire world."
On several occasions, she has threatened US-UK trade deals if the Irish border was compromised in the scope of Brexit.
Speaking at this year's Friends of Ireland luncheon in Washington, DC on St. Patrick's Day, Pelosi remarked that "the precious ties between our two nations are very strong." Reflecting on her visits to Ireland and Northern Ireland, she highlighted the changes that have occurred in their region since the 1990s.
In 2019, as part of a congressional delegation that visited Ireland and Northern Ireland, she addressed the Dáil Éireann.
On Thursday, Irish politicians commented on Pelosi’s decision to stand down from Democratic leadership.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Pelosi is a "true friend of Ireland" and thanked her for all she's done "to promote peace and progress on the island."
I want to wish you @SpeakerPelosi all the very best in future.
A true friend to Ireland, we thank you for all you’ve done, and continue to do, to promote peace and progress on this island. https://t.co/mIYEUuJ974— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) November 17, 2022
Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said Pelosi has been "one of Ireland's most steadfast supporters and allies."
Speaker Pelosi has been one of Ireland’s most steadfast supporters and allies during her term of office. She is a force to be reckoned with. Wishing her and Paul the very best in the next chapter of their lives pic.twitter.com/74EMUN2EJt— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) November 17, 2022
Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said Pelosi will "always remain a friend and a special place here in Ireland."
Thank you @SpeakerPelosi , a close & reliable friend of Ireland, as you step down as Speaker. You’ve shown remarkable leadership through public service.— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) November 17, 2022
You’ll always remain a friend with a special place here in #Ireland. @dfatirl https://t.co/UBlWfkmEoy
TD Mary Lou McDonald, the President Sinn Féin, said "we can always rely on her encouragement and wise counsel."
Nancy Pelosi-an inspirational leader overcoming challenges & opposition with dignity poise & commitment A resolute leader who broke boundaries for women & a great friend to Ireland I wish her well for the future & know that we can always rely on her encouragement & wise counsel pic.twitter.com/cEdpvbd6KP— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) November 17, 2022
Colum Eastwood, head of the SDLP in Northern Ireland, said Pelosi has always been "an ardent defender of the Good Friday Agreement."