Joe Biden has been mockingly accused of “anti-British” after the “monster” raised the Irish flag in Dublin – but not the Union Jack in Belfast.
Critics said the appearance of the US president’s limousine was further evidence that he is not neutral in the tensions over the island of Ireland.
Armored with the stars and stripes and the presidential standard on its hood, the car appeared during his brief visit to Northern Ireland on Wednesday.
However, after Biden – who is often proud of his Irish heritage – swept into the Republic on the same day the country’s flag was proudly displayed.
He has also been criticized for saying his distant relative the rugby star ‘beat the hell out of the Black and Tans’. This was a British auxiliary police force in the 1920s that the IRA hated – although the White House insists it was jamming them with the New Zealand All Blacks.
Biden, who wraps up his three-day tour of Ireland tonight, snapped a selfie with Gerry Adams and berated the UK for not cooperating more closely with Ireland on Brexit.
Former DUP leader Baroness Foster told GB News that the Beast flags sounded like another nod to his stance on the British.
“I hope that is not the case because it does not recognize the Northern Ireland issue within the UK which is of course part of the Good Friday Agreement,” she said.
Lady Foster wondered why the President was “thinking” of Black and Tans when he was discussing the All Blacks.
“I think it fits with his mentality in terms of what happened in Ireland,” she said.
He is not always so balanced in matters relating to Northern Ireland. He admitted that he was a diplomat in Belfast when he spoke but that was because he gave a written speech.
“Joe Biden’s record has been unfair, and I think that has to be acknowledged,” she added.
The Beast showed off the stars and stripes and a presidential standard on its hood on its short visit to Northern Ireland on Wednesday
However, after Mr. Biden — who is often proud of his Irish heritage — transitioned into a republic, the country’s flag was proudly displayed.
In a speech to the Irish parliament last night again peppered with references to his heritage, Biden sought to calm tensions over the ‘Black and Tans’ episode.
In a speech to the Irish Parliament last night again peppered with references to his heritage, Biden sought to calm tensions over the “Black and Tans” episode.
He became the fourth US president to address the Irish Parliament after Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and John F Kennedy.
“People of Ireland,” said Biden, “it is so good to be back in Ireland.”
“I just wish I could stay longer,” the US president added.
Pessimists point out that Biden’s many impassioned references to his Irish ancestry on his visit are tied to the looming US election campaign.
US officials denied he was “anti-British”, but were forced to issue a correction after Biden mocked the “Black and Tans” during a visit to a pub in County Louth.
Wearing a shamrock tie given to him by Irish rugby player Rob Kearney – a distant relative – Biden says approvingly that he “beat the hell out of the Black and Tans”.
The Blacks and Tans were an auxiliary police force sent to Ireland in the 1920s to counter the radicalization of the IRA – mocked in republican folk songs for their brutality.
The group was particularly featured in the pro-IRA song, “Come Out, Ye Black And Tans”, still popular with Irish rebel bands.
The White House website tried to smooth out the situation by clarifying its official record of referring to the All Blacks – the New Zealand rugby team.
In another attempt to bridge the rift, Biden said in his speech to the Irish Parliament: “I always have a little bit of Ireland nearby, even when I’m in Washington.”
“In the Oval Office I have the rugby ball autographed by the Irish Rugby Team – the ball the team played with when they beat the All Blacks in Dublin in 2021.”
The US president exaggerated the phrase “all blacks” and showed his fist as he tried to poke fun at his past gaffes.
Turning to the main reason for his transatlantic trip — the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement — Mr. Biden said: “Peace is precious. It still needs its champions. It still needs care.”
The US president said the Good Friday Agreement had “a huge positive impact across the Republic of Ireland as well”.
He spoke of his discussions with the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, on “how Ireland and the US can work together with the UK and EU to support the people of Northern Ireland”.
And the US president added in a message to London: “I believe that the United Kingdom should work closely with Ireland in this endeavour.”
“Political violence must never again be allowed to take hold of this island.”
Among the listeners was former Republican leader Adams, who posted a selfie of the two together afterwards, captioning it: “President Biden selfie.”
Biden will conclude his visit to the island of Ireland with a public address in the city where some of his ancestors hail.
He will travel to the west of Ireland, where he will deliver an address at a cathedral in Ballina, Co Mayo, on Friday evening.
Before that, he’ll tour the Temple of Our Lady of Knock, also in Co Mayo.
The Knock Shrine is a Catholic pilgrimage site visited by Popes, most recently by Pope Francis in 2018.
Jerry Adams posted a selfie with Joe Biden last night after watching him address a joint session of the Irish Parliament
The US president’s speech was peppered with references to his cherished Irish heritage
The US president sought to defuse tensions over an earlier gaffe when he mistakenly referred to the “Black and Tans” instead of New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team.
Mr. Biden is next scheduled to visit the Northern Mayo Heritage and Genealogy Center’s Family History Research Unit.
On Wednesday, the chief visited Co Louth, where some of his family members have been traced, and Co Mayo’s visit traces the other side of his family tree.
It is also believed Mr Biden will pay a private visit to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice in Castlebar dedicated to his son Beau who died of brain cancer in 2015.
The visit will conclude in Ballina, where Mr. Biden will deliver a speech at St. Moridach’s Cathedral.
Biden’s great-grandfather, Edward Beloit, sold 27,000 bricks to the cathedral in 1827, which helped buy tickets for him and his family to sail to America decades later in 1851.