President Michael D Higgins leads tributes to Joe Biden after US election win

By James Ward, PA
·4-min read

President Michael D Higgins has led the tributes to Joe Biden following his victory in the race for the White House.

The Democratic nominee became president-elect on Saturday after winning the state of Pennsylvania, giving him the necessary 270 electoral college votes.

Mr Biden is also the most-voted for presidential candidate in US history, securing around 75 million ballots.

He holds strong familial ties with Ireland, and congratulations have been coming thick and fast from politicians.

Keelin Shanley funeral
President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina Higgins have congratulated Joe Biden on his US election victory (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr Higgins said: “Today, I have conveyed my best wishes to President-elect Joe Biden, wishing him and the American people every good fortune for his term in office and congratulating him, and congratulating Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on her historic achievement.

“Sabina and I, and the staff at Aras an Uachtarain, have the warmest memories of Joe Biden’s two visits to us.

“The bonds between the peoples of Ireland and the United States are close and strong, and I look forward to our two countries working together to rebuild the much-needed trust in the methods and institutions of national and international solidarity and cooperation.

“That solidarity is indispensable, if we are to address the urgent challenges of our time, including such diverse issues as the need to address the cause and consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, global poverty, hunger, migration and the digitisation of our economies, all issues on which the President-elect has expressed a commitment.

“On behalf of the people of Ireland, I wish President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris every success in the years ahead.”

Taosieach Micheal Martin described Mr Biden as a “true friend of this nation.”

He said: “On behalf of the Government and the people of Ireland, I offer warmest congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as the 46th President of the United States.

“Ireland takes pride in Joe Biden’s election, just as we are proud of all the generations of Irish women and Irish men and their ancestors whose toil and genius have enriched the diversity that powers America.”

Mr Martin noted the strong ties between Mr Biden and Ireland.

“Joe Biden has always been a stalwart friend and supporter of Ireland, including of the prosperity, stability and opportunity made possible by the Good Friday Agreement, to which he has pledged his ongoing steadfast support,” he said.

He added: “I also wish to congratulate Kamala Harris on her election as Vice-President and recognise the tremendous significance of her election to the role.

“I am greatly looking forward to working with the new Administration in the period ahead in progressing international peace and security.”

Mr Martin pledged to make progress on the issue of the undocumented Irish immigrants in the US, of which there are some 50,000.

He said: “I also intend to work closely with the new administration and the United States Congress to pursue comprehensive immigration reform, an issue that is so important to tens of thousands of Irish people making a significant contribution to America.”

Foreign Minister Simon Coveney wrote: “Congratulations to ⁦@JoeBiden on becoming the 46th President elect of the #USA.

“We look forward to working with a #BidenHarris presidency to sustain & strengthen Irish American relations, and so much more.”

Further Education Minister Simon Harris was celebrating his success and that of vice president-elect Kamala Harris, with his young daughter, Saoirse.

He tweeted: “Congratulations Mr President-Elect – a man of decency with deep Irish roots. Great to see a Harris going to the White House with you!

“@KamalaHarris -1st female Vice President of the US. Historic moment & one I will tell my little girl all about. You can be whatever you want to be!”