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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Joe Biden says he is ‘really not Irish’ because he doesn’t drink in latest gaffe

Joe Biden on Friday made an off-colour joke that he was “really not Irish” because he does not drink alcohol and his relatives in Ireland were not “in jail”, as he marked St Patrick’s Day.

The 80-year-old president, whose family emigrated from Ireland to America in the mid-1800s, made the gaffe as he hosted a Friends of Ireland luncheon at the US Capitol.

“I’ve been to Ireland many times, but not to actually look up, to find my actual family members. And there are so many – and they actually weren’t in jail,” Mr Biden said to muted laughs from the crowd as he recalled a visit to the republic in which he met his relatives.

“There’s still a place called Finnegan’s pub … that’s related to my family,” the president went on. “I’m the only Irishman you ever met, though, that’s never had a drink, so I’m OK. I’m really not Irish,” said Mr Biden, who is known to be teetotal.

He spent his earliest years surrounded by his mother’s Irish American family, the Finnegans, in the Irish-American stronghold of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Mr Biden, who often speaks of his Irish heritage and is fond of quoting Irish poets, used the occasion to declare March Irish-American heritage month. The White House even dyed the water of the South Lawn fountain green for the occasion.

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