Northern Ireland news

Doug Beattie 'too unwell' for US St Patrick's Day trip

Doug Beattie is to unwell to travel to the US for St Patrick's Day celebrations. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire

DOUG Beattie will not travel to the US for St Patrick's Day celebrations as the Ulster Unionist Party leader is "too unwell" to attend.

The UUP confirmed on Monday evening that Mr Beattie will not be travelling to Washington DC, which traditionally sees an influx of Irish politicians to mark the feast day of the country's patron saint.

A party spokesperson said Mr Beattie was "too unwell" to travel but stressed that the move was not a "snub".

Taoiseach Micheál Martin will meet US President Joe Biden tomorrow as part of the traditional visit of the Irish leader to the White House.

Sinn Féin leaders Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill yesterday travelled to the US capital after a series of engagements in New York.

Today they are due to brief members of the US administration and senior political leaders on Capitol Hill, including the Congressional Friends of Ireland Group and Senator Chris Murphy. Tomorrow they will attend the Northern Ireland Executive Breakfast, the Speakers Lunch and the St Patrick’s Day reception in the White House.

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