Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has begun an official visit to the United States for a series of political, economic, and community engagements as part of the traditional St. Patrick's Day celebrations. 

Varadkar will arrive in Boston on Monday evening, March 11 and will undertake a series of political, economic, and Irish community engagements before traveling to Washington later in the week for a bilateral meeting with President Joe Biden and the traditional shamrock ceremony.

The Taoiseach will deliver a keynote address at the President John F. Kennedy Library on Monday evening and will also meet with Governor of Massachusetts Maura Healy to discuss the deep cultural and economic ties between her state and Ireland. 

On Tuesday, Varadkar will host a series of economic meetings before traveling to Fenway Park to announce a major investment by Irish sports data company Output Sports. 

He will speak at a Young Ireland Funds Leaders event later on Tuesday and will attend a breakfast hosted by the Irish American Partnership on Wednesday morning before departing for Washington. 

His first engagement in Washington will be to speak at the Ireland Funds National Gala Dinner on Wednesday night before speaking at a series of events hosted by Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, and the US Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. 

The Taoiseach will meet with senior Irish and US executives to "explore how the Ireland-US two-way trade and investment partnership can help create more jobs and growth in both countries."

Varadkar will meet bilaterally with President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson on Friday, with discussions expected to cover a wide range of issues, including the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and the US. 

The Taoiseach is also expected to thank Biden for the US's continued commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and peace in Northern Ireland. 

Varadkar will also raise the concerns of Irish people over the "shocking crisis in Gaza," the Taoiseach said in a statement. 

He added that he will reiterate Ireland's call for a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza during the visit. 

"My visit to the US comes at a crucial time in global affairs and US leadership is needed more now than ever. I look forward to discussing with President Biden, and leaders on Capitol Hill, our shared commitment to continued support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression," Varadkar said in a statement.

"I will also raise the concerns of the Irish people on the shocking crisis in Gaza, reiterating our call for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire to facilitate a massive increase in the humanitarian aid that can reach desperate people and the immediate and unconditional release of the remaining hostages." 

He noted that the Government's theme for St. Patrick's Day 2024 is "Ireland's Future in the World" and said he hopes to celebrate the achievements of Ireland's "young diaspora leaders in the US."

"Many of the events in both Boston and Washington DC will enable me to recognize their invaluable contribution to sustaining and deepening the close bonds between Ireland and the US, now and into the future.

"My visit is also an opportunity to highlight our strong and growing trade and investment relationship, a relationship that is increasingly balanced and two-way."

Varadkar's visit will conclude with the traditional shamrock ceremony in the White House on Sunday, March 17, which will see the Taoiseach present Biden with a crystal bowl of Irish shamrocks.