White House is forced to correct Biden in bid to stop fresh row erupting after President makes new gaffe in Ireland

Joe Biden in Northern Ireland

There have been fears that Joe Biden could enrage unionists with references to his Irish heritage

Paige Creaney

By Paige Creaney

Published: 13/04/2023

- 12:32

Updated: 13/04/2023

- 13:25

The US President referred to 'black and tans' during his speech at the Windsor Bar

The White House has been forced to correct Joe Biden to quell a fresh row after he jibed about the 'Black and Tans' during a pub visit in Ireland.

The US president risked a backlash over his 'anti-British' stance with remarks at a packed bar in Dundalk, County Louth.

Biden said he was wearing a shamrock tie given to him by his rugby-player distant relative, Rob Kearney, saying approvingly that he "beat the hell out of the Black and Tans."

The comment drew laughter in the pub, with Mr Biden's reputation as a gaffe machine, leaving room for doubt about whether it was intentional or merely a slip.

Partial transcript of Joe Biden's speech in Northern Ireland

The White House website attempted to smooth over the situation

The White House

The delivery version of the speech on the White House website has the Black and Tans crossed out and 'All Blacks' added in brackets.

During the speech, Biden also quipped that even though his father was English, his saving grace was that "a quarter of his family was Hanafees from Galway".

"You know, Biden is English. I hate to tell you that," he said to laughter.

"I don't hate. I'm joking, but it's true" he added.

There have been fears that Joe Biden could enrage unionists with references to his Irish heritage during his visit to Belfast.

As vice president, Biden caused offence to Northern Ireland's unionist community when, during a St Patrick's Day event, he joked:"'If you're wearing orange, you're not welcome here."

He has also often talked about his mother's hatred for England, which was so intense that she once refused to use a bed that Queen Elizabeth II had slept in.

In his memoir 'Promises to Keep' he recalls with a degree of embarrassment at his English surname Biden.

Joe BIden with Rishi Sunak

The US President met with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Northern Ireland


Biden's four-day trip to Ireland was officially timed to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

He landed in Belfast on April 11, and met Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Belfast on the morning on April 12.

He spoke at Ulster University after his meeting with Sunak, but was criticised for only spending a few hours in Northern Ireland.

He then crossed the border to visit Carlingford, where his great-great-grandfather was born.

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