US President Joe Biden visited the Republic of Ireland and met with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Biden, who calls Ireland “part of my soul,” visited Carlingford Castle and Dundalk, the hometowns of his ancestors. During his trip, he emphasized the importance of keeping peace in Northern Ireland, which has been politically paralyzed. Biden urged the feuding leaders to restore the power-sharing government that was suspended since February last year. Despite the sentimental nature of his trip, Biden was keen to underscore its seriousness. He also addressed a joint sitting of both houses of the Irish parliament.
During his visit, Biden faced criticism from pro-UK hardliners who called him “anti-British.” The White House denied the claims and said that the President has actively engaged in the peace process in Northern Ireland throughout his career. Sectarian violence remains a concern in Northern Ireland, and four suspected pipe bombs were retrieved from a cemetery in Derry. However, Biden brushed off any security concerns and saw firsthand how much redevelopment has transformed Belfast since 1998.