Northern Ireland

Biden recognises Varadkar’s ‘years of service’ in phone call

A spokesperson for Mr Varadkar said the US president had wished the Taoiseach well in ‘whatever lies ahead’.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and US President Joe Biden during the St Patrick’s Day Reception and Shamrock Ceremony in the the East Room of the White House
Leo Varadkar steps down as Taoiseach Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and US President Joe Biden during the St Patrick’s Day Reception and Shamrock Ceremony in the the East Room of the White House. PICTURE: PA (Niall Carson/PA)

US President Joe Biden held a phone call with outgoing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Monday, one week after the two leaders had a bilateral meeting in Washington.

The White House said Mr Biden spoke with Mr Varadkar to “recognise his seven years of service” as Taoiseach and Tánaiste.

A statement added: “Having recently celebrated St Patrick’s Day at the White House, they reflected on their cooperation over the years on shared priorities, particularly deepening US-Ireland ties between our people and our economies.

“They noted recent progress in Northern Ireland with the restoration of its Executive and Assembly, reaffirming the critical role these institutions play in preserving the gains of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement.”

A spokesperson for Mr Varadkar said Mr Biden had wished the Taoiseach well in “whatever lies ahead”.

A statement said Mr Varadkar thanked the US president for good wishes and also paid tribute to Mr Biden’s role in advancing US-Ireland relations.

US President Joe Biden (left) is greeted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as he arrives for a state dinner at Dublin Castle during his visit to Ireland
President Biden US President Joe Biden (left) is greeted by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as he arrives for a state dinner at Dublin Castle during his visit to Ireland (Damien Storan/PA)

It added: “The Taoiseach also took the opportunity to brief him on the upcoming meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council, which will take place on 8 April, and which will mark another important step forward in restoring the institutions under the Good Friday Agreement.”

He also wished Mr Biden “the best of luck” in the US elections in November.

Last week, Mr Varadkar made the shock announcement he would be stepping down as Fine Gael leader and Taoiseach once a successor had been appointed.



It came days after he returned home from the US following a week of engagements marking St Patrick’s Day which involved two visits to the White House.

Further education minister Simon Harris has since been appointed as leader of Fine Gael and is expected to be formally appointed as taoiseach after the parliament’s Easter recess.

A statement from the Irish Government added: “The Taoiseach told the President that, all going well, his successor will be appointed on 9 April and looks forward to continuing to work with the US on global affairs, including Ukraine and the Middle East, and to continuing to strengthen ties between Ireland and the US.”

The White House said the US President conveyed that he “looks forward to continuing to build a vibrant future for US-Irish relations” with the new taoiseach, once elected by parliament.