Mr. Prime Minister:
I wish to express my very deep appreciation to you and to all of those in Ireland who have given us such a warm welcome during our stay here.
When I arrived just 3 days ago I remember saying that if I had any time, a day off or a holiday, I could think of no better place to stay than in Ireland.
After having had that time, not all of it off, but some of it, I can recommend to all of my countrymen and any others in the world if you have a day off or more, come to Ireland. It is a wonderful place to Come.
I also on this occasion want to express my appreciation to you, the members of your Government for the opportunity we have had for some very serious talks on bilateral problems and other matters that concern us both as members of the world community with a deep desire for peace.
Our relations have always been good. I am sure they will be better in the years ahead and better because of the understanding on a personal basis that we have been able to develop on this trip.
Also I appreciated the fact that on this trip we had the opportunity not only to meet with members of your Government and with you personally, but also that I was allowed the opportunity to meet with members of my own staff on matters of great importance.
I will simply say that as I leave Ireland and when we look back on this stay, I am sure that these meetings, all of them, the ones that we have had with you and the ones we have had with our own staff, will be recorded as a period when we made a significant contribution not only to better understanding between our two peoples, but to the whole great ideal that we both desire, a peaceful world.
This is our purpose. It is your purpose. And I can assure you and all the members of your Government that in our meetings here we have worked toward that purpose, and we believe most constructively.
And so finally, now that we leave, I can only say that I appreciated your invitation to return. We shall return, either for a holiday or perhaps on another visit.
And may I reciprocate by saying that we look forward to the time when you and Mrs. Lynch will come to visit us in the United States. We hope that we can give you a really fine Irish welcome.Note: The President spoke at 5:40 p.m. at Dublin Airport in response to the remarks of Prime Minister John M. Lynch which follow:
Mr. President, Mrs. Nixon:
The time has come far too quickly for you to leave Ireland and for Ireland to say goodby to you and to your gracious First Lady, but then we appreciate the pressures of your office that allow you such little time.
We are indeed particularly happy to have had the opportunity of welcoming you to this country on this, your first visit as President of the United States of America.
It is with sincere regret that we now say farewell to you and I assure you that an Irish welcome will always await you should you return to this land which has had so many connections of blood and friendship with the people of the United States.
We have been honored by your presence here for the past 3 days as President of the country which has a proud record of democratic government and which has contributed so much and so generously to the improvement of the condition of mankind throughout the world.
We are doubly proud of that achievement, Mr. President, because of the important part played by our countrymen for generations in all facets of American life.
One of your ancestors, Mr. President, Thomas Milhous, left this country as so many thousands of others did, and found in the New World opportunities and fresh horizons that were denied at the time to those who remained at home.
You can appreciate, therefore, our special pride and satisfaction at having had you with us in a sovereign democratic Ireland in your capacity as leader of the world's greatest democracy.
Your friendliness and good will towards the people of Ireland has impressed us all deeply. We trust that you have enjoyed a relaxed stay amongst us and we assure you that your visit, short though it has been, has improved still further the already excellent relations that exist between our two countries.
History has united us on many occasions and the future, no less than the past, will prove, I am sure, that our countries have very wide areas of common interest over and above the natural sympathy that lies between our people.
Our best wishes go to you in the demanding task that faces you in leading the American people through a period so fraught with so much danger to all mankind.
You have shown by your record in government and in the Presidential office, that you are equal to that task, and we hope that you return to the United States with spirit and vigor refreshed by your contact with the Irish people.
We look forward to seeing you back in our country soon again. The door is always open to you whenever you wish to return and the Irish people will always have a Cead Mile Failte [100,000 welcomes] in their hearts for you and your family.
On behalf of the people and Government of Ireland, may I wish you a safe journey to your homeland and every success and good fortune in the future. Slan Agus Beannacht. [Health and blessings, Godspeed.]