Northern Ireland

The two Joes – Joe Brolly on being in Joe Biden's 'inner circle'

Joe Brolly with Joe Biden at the Whitehouse.
Joe Brolly with Joe Biden at the Whitehouse.

WHILE excitement is building for Joe Biden’s visit to Ireland, rubbing shoulders with the US President is nothing new for Joe Brolly.

Having travelled to Washington for the recent St Patrick’s Day celebrations, he was on the Irish guest list along with Stormont leaders and One Direction star Niall Horan.

Of course, there’s also the family connection with Joe’s wife, Laurita Blewitt, a third cousin.

“She has a very special place in his affection, so I’m part of that inner circle,” he told The Irish News.

Joe Brolly with Joe Biden in the Whitehouse.
Joe Brolly with Joe Biden in the Whitehouse.

“The most interesting thing for me about being in the White House pretty regularly and on first-name terms with the President, and very conversational… it was striking that (the Stormont leaders attending), they’re all perfectly at home in America.

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“America is very Irish. I think that we in the north, and I think it’s something that has been spoken about a lot, are very conscious that we are citizens of the world.”

Asked what impact the Biden effect will have during his upcoming visit to Northern Ireland, he said: “Joe’s not a fraud.

"Obviously you have Hilary Clinton coming here and taking credit for the peace process and all that. That’s all well and good, it’s a bit of showbiz. The Americans need that. Hilary, the last time she came here to do that, she was about to kick off her presidential campaign.

“And Irish America is extremely influential, you know that when you’re out there… So it’s important for a US President to come here.

“But Joe is a believer in this, and a great friend of Senator George Mitchell, who was unable to come because he’s unwell.

“It’s very important to him. Joe thinks a lot of Ireland and the Irish people, as you would.”