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Biden to conclude Ireland trip with visit to ancestral home


Biden to conclude Ireland trip with visit to ancestral home

President Joe Biden of U. S. will conclude his visit to the island of Ireland by making a public address in the town where some of his ancestors hail from.

Biden will travel to the west of Ireland, where he will give a speech at a cathedral in Ballina, Co Mayo, on Friday evening.

Prior to that, he will tour the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Knock, also in Co Mayo.

Knock shrine is a Catholic pilgrimage site that has been visited by several popes, most recently by Pope Francis in 2018.

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Biden is then set to visit the North Mayo Heritage and Genealogical Centre’s family history research unit.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the president visited Co Louth, to where some of his family members have been traced, and the visit to Co Mayo tracks the other side of his family tree.

It is also believed that Biden will make a private visit to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice in Castlebar that is dedicated to his son Beau who died of brain cancer in 2015.

The visit would be concluded in the town of Ballina where Biden will make a speech at St Muredach’s Cathedral.

Biden’s great-great-great Grandfather Edward Blewitt sold 27,000 bricks to the cathedral in 1827, which helped buy tickets for himself and his family to sail to America decades later in 1851.

The Mayo’s visits will conclude the president’s four-day trip to the island of Ireland.

In the Irish parliament on Thursday, Biden spoke of his pride at addressing the country’s politicians.

“This is one of the great honours of my career, to be here today, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart,” he said.

In a dinner at Dublin Castle in his honour, the president received a standing ovation as he finished a speech in which he reflected on his family roots and told the audience: “No barrier is too thick or too strong for Ireland.” 

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