Joe Biden is set to touch down in Northern Ireland on Tuesday for a two-day visit to the region.

The US president, who speaks often of his Irish heritage, is set to mark 25 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement before hopping over the border to the Republic of Ireland for visits to Louth, Dublin and Mayo.

While some details of his travel arrangements are kept under wraps for security reasons, the White House set out official plans for the trip at a briefing on Monday.

Here’s where he will be, and what to know about what he’ll be up to each day.


Mr Biden is expected to board Air Force One from Joint Base Andrews near Washington DC early on Tuesday.

After seven hours of flight time and a five-hour timezone jump, he will touch down at Belfast International Airport Tuesday evening UK time, becoming only the fourth US president to step foot in Northern Ireland – and the first since Bill Clinton in 1995 to do so.

US President Joe Biden last week makes his way to board Air Force One before departing from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty)

The leader will be greeted upon arrival at the airport by Rishi Sunak. No other details have been revealed about any evening plans.


The first item in Joe Biden’s diary for Wednesday is a bilateral meeting with Rishi Sunak, who is expected to press him to boost post-Brexit economic ties between the UK and the US despite his rejection of a free trade agreement.

It is not yet clear whether he will make time to visit Stormont and meet with Northern Ireland’s party leaders, with power-sharing still suspended in the region due to a boycott by the DUP.

Mr Biden’s only known public engagement in Belfast is a visit to Ulster University’s newly-opened Belfast campus where he will speak about the “tremendous progress” since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement 25 years ago.

“It will underscore the readiness of the United States to preserve those gains and support Northern Ireland’s vast economic potential to the benefit of all communities,” US national security official John Kirby hinted.

After the speech, Mr Biden expected to make a 65-mile trip to the Irish border, as he retraces his ancestry in Co Louth.

According to the White House, Mr Biden’s great-grandfather James Finegan was born in Louth before the family “crossed the sea to begin a new life in America.”

On Wednesday evening he plans to visit Dundalk and Carlingford, close to the village his ancestors were from. He plans a “walkabout” in Dundalk as well as a tour of Carlingford Castle, which dates back to the 12th century.

Mr Biden is then expected to travel to Dublin and stay there overnight.


On Thursday, he will meet with Irish President Michael D Higgins – a fellow octogenarian statesman at 81 – taking part in a tree-planting ceremony and ringing of the Peace Bell at the president’s official residence, Aras an Uachtarain. Dublin’s Phoenix Park will be closed to facilitate the visit

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins (Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty)

He will then meet with Ireland’s Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, to “discuss our close co-operation on the full range of shared global challenges”.

After the meetings, he will head to Leinster House to address a joint session of the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) about US-Irish co-operation “to advance democracy, peace, security and prosperity.”

On Thursday evening, Mr Biden will attend a banquet dinner at Dublin Castle.


Mr Biden will continue to retrace his ancestors’ footsteps on the last day of his trip as he visits Co Mayo in the west of Ireland, where another branch of his family traces its roots.

The leader, a prominent Catholic, will tour the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Knock, a pilgrimage site and shrine famously linked to an apparition of the Virgin Mary.

He will then visit the North Mayo Heritage and Genealogical Centre’s family history research unit.

After this, the US president will deliver public remarks outside St Muredach’s Cathedral in Ballina. It is claimed the cathedral, constructed in the 1840s, incorporates 27,000 bricks sold by Mr Biden’s great-great-grandfather Edward Blewitt, an entrepreneur who used the proceeds to fund his family’s journey to America in 1851.

A store is seen decked out in 'starts and stripes' bunting in Ballina town centre on April 7, 2023 as the town prepares to welcome President Biden to the town in Co Mayo, the his ancestral home. - The picturesque town of Ballina on the banks of the river Moy in northwest Ireland hums with activity ahead of a visit by its most famous son Joe Biden this week. The US president is due to arrive in Ballina in north County Mayo on Friday to address thousands in the town from which his family hailed before emigrating to Pennsylvania in the 19th century. (Photo by Paul Faith / AFP) (Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)
A store is seen decked out in ‘starts and stripes’ bunting in Ballina town centre (Photo: PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

“The president is very much looking forward to that trip and celebrating the deep historic ties our people continue to share,” Mr Kirby said.

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