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tv   Friends of Ireland Luncheon  CSPAN  March 16, 2018 1:05am-1:31am EDT

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>> on sunday at 2:00 eastern on american history tv, a visit to old salem. hidden project which explores the history of afro arabians living in salem. watched c-span cities tour saturday at new eastern on c-span twos book tv. >> president trump and irish prime minister were on capitol hill speaking at the annual friends of ireland luncheon, hosted by house speaker paul ryan, ahead of st. patrick's day. the president talked about the close ties between the countries and the contribution of irish-americans. the prime minister talked about the strength of relations with
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the u.s..
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>> if everyone will take their seats, please. if everyone will kindly take their seats. please take your seats.
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the speaker: i want to start off by welcoming everyone. this is one of our most precious traditions. we come together to honor known for the gifts of blarney which means absolutely everybody. [laughter] and with all things irish, this began with the good scrap. ronald reagan and tip were fierce political opponents. this goes way back to those days. their heritage was their bond. when it came to ireland, the only thing they would argue about who was more irish. reagan was saying he was old enough to meet st. patrick. it is a real honor to have you here. [applause]
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the speaker: my own family is from a small town in ireland outside of the black mountains. my wife and extended family and i visited visited the town a few years ago and found the family farm that our family came from where ouro the abbey ancestors were married and buried and our cousin william o'shea farms the same place and they had a great ceremony and had the local tv and the abbott and will congresswoman o'shea was to kick things off and couldn't find a parking spot and all the festivals were waiting and he prayed out loud and said lord, if you find me a parking
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spot, i will give up drinking whiskey and go to church every sunday and at that moment, the clouds parted and the sun shown down on a parking spot and he said, never mind, i found one myself. [laughter] the speaker: that is one of those jokes. for people who may have heard this before, the great thing about irish jokes, they are repeated. leo, this is not your first time here. and this is a welcome back. and you used to be an intern here not too many years ago and now that you are the guest of honor, and i think that is just incredible. [applause] the speaker: i too, started, as
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an intern here. and this is not all that different. politicians go on and on and you hope to get a free meal. and the good news is we have guiness. now the guinness does taste better in ireland, but this is probably not the right year to bring up trade issues. [laughter] the speaker: our ties with ireland are as strong as ever. i look around. we have a senate majority leader that is scott irish and members of the president's cabinet. we even have a candidate may be running for president. where is joe? but look at this -- think about it. you have pence, you have kelly and mulvaney and mnuchin and to
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go on and on. all this means is that our meetings start twice as late, last twice as long and we get half of the decisions made. but on a very serious note, there is a deep heritage. before notre dame was known as the fighting irish, that name belonged to the u.s. army 69th infantry regiment. lincoln was so moved by the bravery of this brigade that on a visit to the battlefield he picked up a corner of the irish flag and said god bless this irish flag. god bless the irish people, they have turned darkness to light and hardship into hope. they were our friends when we were friendless, and they were
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the defenders of our union when we were divided. the irish came here in search of a better life and made this a better country with their faith and passion, to people of gentle hearts and people of strong hearts. in these times as we strive to find peace and opportunity, the friendship of the irish remains our anchor in the choppiest of waters. i would like to offer a toast with the proper head on a guiness. may the winds of fortune sail you, may you sail the gent left sea and may it be the gal though says this drink's on me. [laughter] the speaker: at this time -- i
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don't have my -- i think -- there you are, father. that's my thought. you are not ready. not yet? i don't think so. it's not your turn yet, father. the priest -- you want to defer. [laughter] the speaker: i would like to introduce not father yet, but the president of the united states. [applause] president trump: thank you. thank you. thank you.
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thank you very much, paul. and vice president pence, distinguished members of congress, so many wonderful people from ireland, so many friends and we appreciate it for joining us on this very special occasion. first time was last year and that was a lot of fun. what do we have, six more left after this. [applause] we are welcomed to honor you. we actually knew each other from a different life. and it was very successful. i also want to warmly welcome ambassador mohall who represented a lot of good people. thank you very much, mr. ambassador. your wife, greta. and all of the -- really incredible irish delegation whom
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i know very well. st. patrick's day is to build on the lasting bonds between our relationship between united states and ireland. bonds formed through values and a united vision for a peaceful and prosperous future. more than 30 million americans today claim irish heritage. that's why you have such power. 30 million people. among the many wonderful americans who trace their routes back to -- roots to ireland like paul, like kevin, like mike. i have to look at almost this whole room. but we have a tremendous group of unbelievable leaders and cardinal dole and is a very, very proud person of ireland.
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it was our first catholic president, john kennedy, who set our nation's sights on the moon. we are looking at mars, by the way. we are going to get there and moving it along. and michael collins who you know who is of irish descent and piloted apollo 11 and planted the american flag where no man has done it before. this legacy of accomplishments is woven into our national the toughness and grit and our fundamental american ways of life. so on st. patrick's day we celebrate our close ties with the people of ireland, special, incredible, wonderful people and we look forward to an exciting future that we will all share together and it's an honor to
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have you with us. and i look forward to seeing you often. whenever there is a problem, you call, just call. except for trade. [laughter] they got the taxes so low, you are a tough one to compete with the taxes. but great job. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, father. no pressure. the speaker: on june 14 of last year, leo varadkar became the 13th person in ireland's history to hold the position. leo was the son of an irish born nurse and physician. at the age of seven or eight, he
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announced that he wanted to become the minister of health. he facilitated that position and much, much more. give him a warm welcome to his first time visiting washington, leo varadkar. [applause] prime minister varadkar: thank you.
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and mr. speaker, thank you for the kind invitation to join you this afternoon to celebrate st. patrick's day in this magnificent setting. it is a very special occasion for me as you alluded to the fact that i once worked here in my youth and i served as a congressional intern working here for jack quinn, representing buffalo, new york. and i know some of you are here today and i used to give tours of this building which is what interns have to do. and that is a strange experience
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for people coming down an irish intern with an indian name. i gave a pretty mean tour. and i do know each and every statue from each and every state. but it is a very special place for me for another reason as well. one of the things that was given to me when i finished up my time working here was an american flag, "star-spangled banner" that flew over the cannon office building where i worked for some time and i have kept it with me and one that i keep in my office and that is part of the office. the american flag that flew here 20 years ago. [applause] prime minister varadkar: it reminds of that special
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friendship that exists between ireland and america and this special place which helped me to develop my view of the world and helped me to learn the art of politics and steered me to the art of politics. i want to thank speaker ryan who is a long standing friend of ireland and traces his roots back to ireland. it is a beautiful village. i never heard it referred to it before. but is a very, very really beautiful village. and we had a chance meeting some years ago when he and his family made a private visit to ireland and we ran into each other in the irish senate. i want to thank president trump and in particular for taking the time to be with us here today, continuing a remarkable
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tradition that was started back in 1983 by ronald reagan and tip o'nil and i'm glad this tradition has continued. we talked about some of the undocumented irish people who are here, hard working people who are loyal to america and what we can do about that, talking about trade, i'm an optimist about that. we can have a new trade deal. and no better man to make a better deal. and if we put our minds to that, it can be done and northern ireland and the need and desires that we share to make sure we don't go backwards and we don't have a hard border on you are country. i want to thank congress and the
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white house for your steadfast support for northern ireland. as the president alluded to the fact that we have been in contact before the president became president and it happened three or four years ago when i was minister for tourism and how small the world is. at the time the ambassador was ireland and there was a rugby match. [laughter] prime minister varadkar: my assistant said there is a call. you know, donald trump wants to speak to you. and i thought this can't be the case. this has to be a joke from one of my staff members. surely a businessman like donald trump would organize a meeting. but we know donald trump likes to get things done.
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and saying he bought this resort in ireland. but there is a problem. someone is trying to buy a wind farm and that could have a impact. and i rang and i inquired of the commission and subsequently the commission was declined and the wind farm was never built, thus the landscape having been preserved and the president gave me credit for that. but i think it would have been refused any way. but i'm happy to take credit if the president was going to offer it to me. to the members of the friends of ireland, led by congressman peter king, you have played a vital role between ireland and america. and the united states has been
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our most steadfast partner. and i know you all stand to work to ensure that the good friday agreements and the cross community assembly are restored and i'm glad that the secretary of state ken bradley and the politicians from northern ireland are here as well. it is a really great source of pride for all of us to see the powerful traditions at the highest levels in your country and i thank you for your continued interest. and your affection for ireland. mr. speaker, mr. president, friends of ireland, there is a piece of irish wisdom those who turn strangers into friends and friends into family. for centuries we have been each other's family and that is at
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the heart of the blessing that is at the heart of the irish-american blessing. and thank you very much. [applause] wrecks coming up friday, a preview of the upcoming supreme court case taking on a california law which requires pregnancy centers to notify patients of state subsidized abortion options. the afternoon a discussion about deterring russian cyber a look at the potential national security implications if the u.s. withdraws from nafta. a conversation about innovation in the automotive industry.
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this weekend the debut of our series 1968, america and turmoil. we will look back 50 years to that turbulent time marked with war, political assassinations, , racialspace race strife, and the rise of the political left and right. the vietnam war. through the undoing of lyndon b. johnson's presidency with guest of veteran and former virginia senator jim webb. david meredith, author of the book "they marched into the sunlight." 1968, america and turmoil, live

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