Day 3: Mayo

President Joe Biden visits County Mayo as part of his official visit to Ireland April 2023

President Joe Biden headed west for the last day of his official visit to Ireland, on 14 April.

County Mayo is President Biden's ancestral home, as his great-great-grandfather Patrick Blewitt left Ballina in the 1850s for Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Touching down in Knock in the afternoon, the shrine was his first stop in County Mayo.

This was followed by a stop in Castlebar, where he and family members had a private visit to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice.

From here he met with former Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the North Mayo Heritage and Genealogical Centre, Enniscoe.

Some 27,000 people gathered in Ballina for the departure ceremony. The crowds were entertained by famous Irish musicians before President Biden took the stage before 10 pm for an uplifting closing speech.

four people standing in rose garden with old stone walls in the background
President Joe Biden and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the North Mayo Heritage Centre

Ballina, County Mayo

Ballina is a town in north County Mayo, Ireland. It lies at the mouth of the River Moy near Killala Bay, in the Moy valley and Parish of Kilmoremoy, with the Ox Mountains to the east and the Nephin Beg mountains to the west.

girl wrapped in American flag
27,000 people attended the public event in Ballina

Ballina attractions

Among Ballina's key visitor attractions are the ruins of Moyne Abbey, and Rosserk Friary dating back to the 15th century and the impressive St Muredach's Cathedral stands imposingly on the banks of the River Moy.

Church with spire across a dyed green river with people standing on the bank waving flags and cheering
St Muredach's Cathedral in Ballina, across a greened River Moy

River Moy, Ballina

The River Moy is internationally acknowledged as an exceptional salmon fishery, producing several thousand salmon to the rod annually.

The famous Ridge Pool, the salmon angler’s paradise, is located in the heart of the town.

cathedral lit up with beams of light into the night sky above it with crowds facing it from across the river
St Muredach's Cathedral flood lit at night with crowds attending President Biden's public address

Ballina was the home of former President of Ireland, Mrs Mary Robinson. At the public event in Ballina, Mary Robinson read 'The Emigrant Irish' by Eavan Boland in advance of Joe Biden's speech.

man pointing on stage lit up from below in front of an american flag
President Biden making his final address to the crowds cheering in Ballina, Co Mayo
"United by history, heritage."

US President Joe Biden in his closing speech in Ballina, County Mayo as he wrapped up an emotional and eventful 'homecoming'.

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