(UnitedVoice.com) – President Joe Biden traveled to the land of his ancestors recently. The 46th president spent a few days in Ireland, exploring his family’s history and commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. For the most part, the trip went well. However, it wouldn’t be a Biden trip without some gaffes.
On Wednesday, April 12, Biden visited a pub in Dundalk. While he was there, he thanked Rob Kearney, one of his distant cousins who played for Ireland’s rugby team, for giving him the tie he was wearing that evening. He said his cousin was a “hell of a rugby player” who “beat the hell out of the Black and Tans.”
The president was trying to brag about his cousin’s time playing for the Irish team when it beat the New Zealand team, the “All Blacks.” However, he confused the team for a notorious auxiliary military force, known as the “Black and Tans,” that terrorized the Irish people during the War of Independence.
The same day, NBC News reported Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi released a statement saying the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) reported to the agency that a “potentially sensitive document” was found. He said the document might include “law-enforcement material.”
Reports indicated a document that appeared to be related to Biden’s trip was found on a city street in Belfast. It allegedly included details about what roads would close, the commanders who were assigned to the posts, and phone numbers. Guglielmi refused to discuss the details, saying the agency doesn’t talk about “specifics of any protective operation.”
Biden was in Ireland to commemorate the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, which officially ended The Troubles on April 10, 1998. The agreement between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom ended the decades-long conflict that killed at least 3,500 people. The conflict is often described as being between the Catholics and Protestants, but it wasn’t actually a religious war. Instead, it was a battle over the fight to unite Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland or keep it as a member of the UK.
The nationalists, who were mostly Catholic, wanted to leave the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the unionists, who were mostly Protestant, wanted to stay united with the UK. The conflict led to a very bloody war that often spilled over into the Republic of Ireland and the UK.
Among those who died in the conflict was Lord Mountbatten, a member of the British Royal Family. He was on his boat with his family when the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), a paramilitary group, detonated a bomb, killing him and others.
America played a major role in brokering the Good Friday Agreement.
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