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Statement on Meeting With Prime Minister Charles Haughey of Ireland

March 17, 1989

There are many excellent reasons for celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Traditionally this happy occasion provides a special opportunity to spotlight the Irish heritage in America and to affirm the ties of kinship and values which the American and Irish people share. On this St. Patrick's Day, 1989, we again pay tribute to the warm relationship between Ireland and America. We are honored to welcome to the White House the Prime Minister of Ireland, the Taoiseach, Mr. Charles Haughey, whose presence adds a special significance to our celebration.

St. Patrick's Day also provides a special opportunity to pay tribute to U.S.-Irish cooperation in the international arena in the cause of justice, peace, and progress, and to declare that working together to solve international problems encourages the development and maturation of our traditional bilateral relationship.

In the presence of the Taoiseach, I would also like to thank Ireland for its contribution to peacekeeping efforts around the world and to extend the appreciation and condolences of the American people to the families of the Irish soldiers who have given their lives in the cause of peace.

Today I express America's appreciation for Ireland's efforts to promote economic development, justice, security, and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The U.S. supports the efforts of the Irish and British Governments to use the Anglo-Irish accord and the International Fund for Ireland to address the problems which have too long plagued Northern Ireland. We will continue to support efforts to promote fair employment and investment in Northern Ireland.

I call on the American people to support all those who seek justice and peaceful settlements to disputes in Northern Ireland. In the same spirit, I call on all Americans to reject those who seek to impose settlements anywhere through terror.

The comprehensive political, diplomatic, and economic ties between our two countries require recognition that U.S.-Irish relations are the responsibility of all Americans. Therefore, millions of Americans of many heritages and from all walks of life join in observing this fine day and in paying tribute to the friendship and cooperation between Ireland and America. Americans do not have to be Irish to treasure Ireland's contributions or to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

George Bush, Statement on Meeting With Prime Minister Charles Haughey of Ireland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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