Joe Biden concludes Ireland visit with perfect music selection and loud crowd
Joe Biden may just have found his theme song for the 2024 election.
The US President concluded his trip to Ireland this week with a speech at St. Muredach’s Cathedral and arrived at the Ballina landmark on Friday with the perfect opening music: “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by the American Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys .
The song’s iconic bagpipes blared through the air as Biden took the stage and raucous onlookers raised Irish and American flags. He opened with a reference to the country’s former President, Mary Robinson allegedly told him about the Irish tradition of putting a light in the window to show the way to strangers traveling at night.
“Mary, I see the light,” he said.
Around 27,000 people gathered to hear Biden speak outside St. Muredach’s built with some bricks from Biden’s great-great-great-grandfather. Many in the crowd, which was almost twice the size of Ballina’s entire population, had reportedly driven for hours to see him.
The Irish-American politician visited numerous sites and landmarks associated with his family lineage during the trip, although the main purpose of the visit was to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which declared a formal end to the sectarian violence that had plagued Ireland for decades.
Biden naturally commented on his Irish heritage during his speech, saying the country is not just part of his personal family history but part of his “soul”.
“Being here feels … like coming home,” Biden said. “It really does.”
Aside from making a grand entrance, choosing “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” for the president might have had an extra layer of meaning.
At a show in Pennsylvania last year, Dropkick Murphys frontman Ken Casey related to Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump as a “cheater”.
“You’re being duped by the greatest fraud in the history of the world,” Casey told a crowd in September. “You’re being duped by a bunch of scammers and billionaires who don’t give a damn about you or your family.”
It’s unclear if Biden knew about the incident, but the president has confirmed that he intends to run for re-election, possibly running for a second time against Trump.
Bidens approval rating back home is just 43%, but online reactions showed a positive take on this week’s “rock star” like appearance in Ballina.