THE strong economic and historical ties between Ireland and the United States of America have been emphasised by US Vice-President, Mike Pence at an event in Shannon Airport.
Speaking at a press conference in the Presidential Suite at Shannon Airport, Vice- President Pence said it was a “privilege” and honor to visit the Republic of Ireland.
The vice-president was welcomed on the runway at Shannon Airport by Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, Clare County Council chairman, Cathal Crowe, Irish American Ambassador, Dan Mulhall, Shannon Group chairperson, Rose Hynes and Chief of Protocol, Emma Madigan after he came off US Air Force Two at 4.19pm on Monday afternoon.
The press conference was Vice-President Pence’s first official engagement at the start of this state visit to Ireland, which includes visiting Doonbeg to meet some of his relatives.
Vice-President Pence said he spoke to President Trump on the way who he wanted to extend his greetings to the Irish government and added he knew President Trump has forged a strong relationship with Taoiseach Varadkar and I look forward to my meetings with the Taoiseach tomorrow.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to see how we can continue to build on what is a relationship that President Trump said is as strong as it has ever been under the leadership between the Taoiseach and President Donald Trump.
Vice-President Pence said the two countries had so much to discuss and so much in common.
Deputy Coveney said he had been told numerous times that Vice-President’s Irish heritage meant a great deal to him and the fact he had chosen to bring his mother with him to make it a family as well as a state visit makes it even more special.
“The connections with Doonbeg, which extraordinarily now has such a strong connection with President Donald Trump and also your family connections with Sligo are a reminder for us in Ireland yet again the power of Irish American relations.
“There is a difference in scale between Ireland and the US for lots of reasons but our histories are entwined in a way that has affected our families in the US.
“Every time I travel to the US, I am reminded of that connection. We launched a new Irish American strategy in February to put a structure on that relationship,” he said.