President Trump Participates in and Makes Remarks at the Friends of Ireland Luncheon to celebrate this St. Patricks Day. Listen in.
This is the transcript of his remarks:
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Speaker Ryan, for that wonderful toast — although I’ve heard better jokes. (Laughter.) And thank you to all of our friends and distinguished members of Congress for joining us here today — a great honor. And a really great honor to be with you, Vice President Pence. You have been terrific. (Applause.)
And all of our friends welcoming Taoiseach. That’s my new friend; he’s my new friend. Great guy. (Applause.) And, Fionnuala, you know, you are something very special. We sat, we talked, and I think we’re friends now too, right? And it’s really an honor. Thank you. Thank you. (Applause.) Thanks, Fionnuala. Appreciate it.
Also, the delegation members — very, very special. Spent some time together, and we’re going to have a very, very great long-term relationship, as we would with Ireland anyway. But this is a very special group, so I very much appreciate it.
We’re here today to celebrate America’s commitment to Ireland and the tremendous contributions — and I know it well — the Irish immigrants and their descendants have made right here in the United States and throughout the world. The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade — I spent a lot of time at St. Patrick’s Day parades over the years, I will tell you that – was held in my hometown, New York City, on March 17th, 1762. With each subsequent year, the Irish people marched, passed another accomplishment, and celebrated another very hard-earned success. And they have had tremendous success all over the world, but in this country they have had tremendous success.
Over the years, they marched past the beautiful St. Patrick’s Cathedral, now an immortal monument to the faith of Irish Catholics in America. They celebrated their shared success in American society with the election of John F. Kennedy. (Applause.) They fought for America in war and combat. And their battlefield courage has earned admiration and acclaim throughout the world. They have great courage.
The proud tradition that started in 1762 has flourished and is now celebrated by Americans of all faiths and backgrounds all across our very beautiful and very special land. As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of that proverb — and this is a good one, this is one I like; I’ve heard it for many, many years and I love it — “Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue. But never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.” We know that, politically speaking. A lot of us know that, we know it well. (Applause.) It’s a great phrase.
The people of Ireland and the people of the United States have stuck together through good times and bad times. Over many centuries we have built a bond that thrives, inspires and endures. And with us, it’s going to be closer than ever before, I can tell you that. (Applause.)
So as we celebrate our shared history and our enduring friendship, let us commit ourselves to working together, as we will, to build on that bond for the benefit of our citizens for many more generations to come.
Thank you. God bless you. And may God always bless our deep and lasting friendship and relationship. We love Ireland and we love the people of Ireland. Thank you very much for being here. (Applause.)