With tensions looming in Ireland and Northern Ireland, Biden aims to cool off the situation, and will also visit his Irish roots in Ireland

By: Aeden Evenson-McDermott

As President Biden left for his planned trip to the Irish and UK regions, the White House called it “tremendous progress” referring to progress made since The Good Friday Agreement, which was signed 25 years ago, which aimed to end the violence occurring throughout the region.

The United States’s push to secure more economic stability for the Northern Irish was at the forefront but has coincided with the wounds of the past being reopened.

The Good Friday Agreement’s aim was to help with reunifying the predominantly Irish Catholics known as “Republicans” with those who wanted to remain a part of the U.K., mostly being Protestants, known as the “Unionists”. This period of high tensions was known as “The Troubles” and resulted in over 3,500 deaths.

When the actual Good Friday Agreement got signed on April 10, 1998, both sides stopped fighting and created shared power between the Republican and Unionists to make up Northern Ireland’s government. The U.K., as a part of the agreement would be limited to bolstering Northern Ireland’s military.

With the increased tensions now being focused on trade deals and reoccurring drawbacks from the post-Brexit era, the political issues for the British Unionists are mounting. The Northern Ireland Unionists are increasingly worried about how the deal leaves EU Measures in place, which allows for Northern Ireland to be closer to the Republic of Ireland, which is an EU member, while Northern Ireland is in the U.K. With the threat rising, a few issues have surfaced. A police car had Molotov cocktails thrown at it, a bomb plot, and a few suspected pipe bombs in Creggan cemetery.

President Biden’s visit to Northern Ireland was to help “keep the peace” during a time when the U.K. government is walking a tightrope in regard to Northern Ireland.

It remains to be seen whether or not Biden’s visit eases tensions or the tension remains.

With less than 24 hours spent in Northern Ireland, President Biden would head to Dublin, the capital of Ireland, and address the local Dublin parliament and attend a gala banquet before setting out to explore his ancestral roots.

He focused on the here and now with the imminent future rather than the stories of the past, but this would also be to point out the great accomplishments Ireland has made.

Through seeing distant family members and taking in the sights and sounds of Ireland, Ireland is becoming a steadfast ally in Europe and especially with the U.S. and this broadened the relations between the two governments.

Since the war in Ukraine started back in February of 2022, Ireland has taken in over 75,000 refugees and has also strongly condemned Russia for the invasion.

Ireland stands as a beacon of freedom of hope and has gained a foothold of liberal ideals while many other countries are struggling with the uptick of the far-right.

Through his adventures, President Biden would be enriched in Irish culture and customs, and would visit his ancestors’ home towns of Ballina and Mayo and would reflect on his family’s journey to America and living in Scranton, Pennsylvania. And as his Irish Catholic grandfather, Ambrose Finnegan always said to Joey growing up, “Keep the faith”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s