FACTBOX-Visits to Ireland by U.S. Presidents
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DUBLIN (Reuters] - Joe Biden will be the eighth sitting U.S. President to visit Ireland this week. Many of his predecessors also sought to find their Irish roots. Sometimes, they were greeted with cheering crowds and sometimes by protests.
John F. Kennedy, June 1963
Five months before his assassination, President John F. Kennedy visited Ireland for a visit that attracted huge crowds everywhere he went. According to "JFK in Ireland", he later said that it was his best four days.
Kennedy was the first foreign leader ever to address an Irish joint sitting of the houses of parliament. His speech also marked the introduction of cameras to the chamber for recording proceedings.
The eight president's great-grandparents all emigrated from Ireland to Boston during the Potato Famine in the late 1840s.
Kennedy, the first American-Irish-Catholic president of the United States, stated that it took him 115 years and 6,000 miles to complete this trip. He also spoke about three generations in a speech near the River Barrow, in the southern county, of Wexford.
Richard Nixon, October 1970
President Richard Nixon visited Ireland on a state visit during his first term. He also visited a Quaker Burial Ground, County Kildare. This is where his maternal ancestors are buried.
Some protestors opposed to the Vietnam war obstructed the visit. One man hurled eggs at the presidential motorcade passing through Dublin City Centre, forcing Nixon to flee the vehicle.
Outside Dublin Castle, more demonstrators waited for the president. There, he and his first lady met with the Irish prime minister for lunch.
Ronald Reagan, June 1984
Ronald Reagan's trip to Ireland was notable for the photo of him drinking an Irish ale in John O'Farrell's pub, Ballyporeen in County Tipperary. This is where his great-grandfather Michael Regan was also born in 1829.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library was given the interior of the bar, renamed The Ronald Reagan, in honor of the visit.
Bill Clinton, 1995-98 and 2000
The President of the United States visited Ireland and Northern Ireland three time. His first visit was in November 1995. This was to support the progress towards a peace agreement that his administration would broker over the next two-and-a half years.
To see him, crowds gathered in Londonderry and Belfast. An estimated 50,000 people gathered in Belfast to hear him speak out for peace. A large crowd also attended the address in Dublin.
After majorities on both sides of border supported the Good Friday Agreement, he returned to the country in September 1998. This agreement was largely successful in ending three decades of bloodshed and also broke the deadlock in December 2000 as all sides tried to implement portions of the peace accord.
George W. Bush 2003, 2004 & 2008
In June 2004, around 10,000 people attended a Stop Bush rally in Dublin. The president was visiting the south to attend an EU-U.S. summit that was held during Ireland's six month presidency of the European Union.
In 2003, the president visited Northern Ireland shortly after the power-sharing government was dismantled. He returned to the country in 2008, after the institutions had been restored.
Barack Obama, May 2011,
Barack Obama visited Moneygall in Ireland to celebrate his Irish heritage. Moneygall was the birthplace for his great-great-grandfather, who left for New York over 150 years ago.
After meeting members of the public, he drank a pint Guinness at the local pub and delivered a 20-minute speech in central Dublin to a cheering crowd of approximately 25,000. He declared solidarity between the U.S.A. and the then economically weak Ireland.
"I'm Barack Obama from the Moneygall Obamas. Obama visited Belfast in the second year of his G8 summit visit.
Donald Trump, June 2019,
After being feted in Britain by Queen Elizabeth and other royals, President Donald Trump spent two days in Ireland. He stayed almost exclusively at his resort in the west.
Trump did not make any appearances before the Irish public, and only met Leo Varadkar, the Irish Prime Minister, at the airport upon his arrival. His sons Eric, Donald Jr., and his wife, Nancy, toured the Doonbeg pubs, purchasing drinks for the locals.