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Taoiseach will cancel his regular visit to White House on St. Patrick’s Day

DUBLIN: Taoiseach Micheál Martin is set to abandon his regular visit to the White House on traditional St. Patrick’s Day in the wake of COVID restrictions. Instead, the idea is to organise an online event.

The Taoiseach said that both the governments are considering the best way to mark this day of the year in the context of COVID-19.

Mr. Martin had earlier said he was ready to go to Washington for the annual shamrock ceremony if he was invited. But on Friday evening, Mr. Martin announced that he had changed his plan.

“What matters to us is not so much the location of how we mark it but rather the substance of the relationship between our two administrations,” Taoiseach said.

Mr. Martin said: COVID-19 is “the number one challenge facing President Biden and it is our number one challenge here,” he said.

Mr. Martin stressed the importance of marking relations with the US on St. Patrick’s Day – it does not matter where such a ceremony takes place. Officials are holding consultations and discussions on how to make the event smoother.

He added that a decision will soon be made as to what is the best way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year. Meanwhile, the Taoiseach has said that he is ready to receive his COVID-19 vaccine in front of the cameras to help boost confidence in the programme.

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