Shamrock For Obama

The Taoiseach Brian Cowen will escape financial woes for at least part of one day next month as he helps the world's most powerful man celebrate the Irish saint's day in the USA.

Beleaguered Cowen is to continue a long-standing tradition when he presents a bowl of Irish shamrock to US President Barack Obama on St Patrick's Day.

The future of the annual event appeared to be in doubt when Mr Obama assumed office but the White House confirmed last night that it was going ahead as normal on March 17.

Mr Cowen said he was delighted to accept the US President's invitation to Washington on St Patrick's Day - the first face-to-face meeting between the two men.

"The celebration of our national day in the White House is a great tradition which reflects the enduring friendship between Ireland and the United States," he explained.

"I look forward to presenting the President with the bowl of shamrock as a symbol of the warmth and strength of our relationship."

However, global financial problems won't be off the agenda altogether as both leaders will also hold bilateral talks.

"This year, the discussions will have a particular focus on the severe economic problems which are besetting all economies and on how we can work together internationally to tackle these unprecedented challenges," said Mr Cowen yesterday.

He is due to address to the American Ireland Fund in Washington and attend meetings with key US political leaders on Capitol Hill.

The Taoiseach's two-day programme will also include meetings with community leaders and business leaders in New York.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 March 2010
Cowen Urges Obama To Visit Ireland
The Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, has attended the traditional St Patrick's Day celebrations in the White House.
24 June 2010
Queen Elizabeth May Come To Republic
It has emerged the Queen of the United Kingdom may visit the Republic of Ireland for the first time since the beginning of her reign. After a meeting between the Prime Minister David Cameron in London and Taoiseach Brian Cowen, plans have surfaced that the Queen's first state visit to Ireland may come before the end of next year.
12 March 2010
Cowen 'Means Business' On Paddy's Day
Although a celebration of the Irish patron saint, the Taoiseach, Brian Cowen visit to the United States which starts today is to have a strong economic dimension. In between the green beer and shamrocks, a trade mission to Silicon Valley and Washington DC involving more than 75 Irish companies, and meetings with leading US companies are planned.
10 June 2014
Open Day To Be Held At Wind Farm To Mark Global Wind Day 2014
A public open day is to be held at the Hollyford Wind Farm, giving people the opportunity to "learn about the turbines and renewable electricity". Operators of the wind farm, Energia, will meet visitors to the farm and take them on a guided tour of the facilities.
21 January 2011
Cabinet Chaos Causes Confidence Collapse
Thursday's Cabinet reshuffle debacle has prompted Fianna Fail members to call for the vote of confidence in the Taoiseach to be revisited.