A motion proposing to invite US President Elect, Joe Biden to Newry will be put forward at this Monday's monthly meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

The proposal to invite Mr Biden was made by Councillor Gary Stokes at the Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism meeting of the council in November.

President Elect Joe Biden's ancestors left Newry Port in 1850 for a new life in the new world. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
President Elect Joe Biden's ancestors left Newry Port in 1850 for a new life in the new world. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

Explaining that he had been contacted by a local citizen that President Elect Joe Biden's Great Grandfather emigrated from Newry Port in 1850 Cllr Stokes said "Would it be possible for the council to look into that and corroborate that and if so chair that we would on the back of that, should he decide to visit the island of Ireland in the future, this council would invite him to visit the district."

Councillor Henry Reilly said he wouldn't be welcoming him "I'm very concerned about his attitude to the Unionist people in Northern Ireland because he's on record to Enda Kenny as saying if you're orange you're not welcome in my house 

"If that's his attitude we would be organising a boycott and protest rather than welcoming a sectarian bigot like that."

Next weeks Notice of Motion is entitled  Best Wishes to President Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Harris" and is put forward jointly by Councillor Patrick Brown and Councillor Gary Stokes.

The Motion reads "This Council welcomes the victory of President Elect Joe Biden Vice President Elect Harris and extends our congratulations and best wishes for their term of office. Noting the ancestral links that President-Elect Biden has with Ireland, including the Cooley Peninsula and the Port of Newry, and the impact that he can have as an ally in any future discussions with the UK government on Post-Brexit trade, Council will write to the White House and the NI Consulate after his Inauguration inviting him to our district; to the city of Newry, to the resting place of St Patrick in Downpatrick and the wider district as part of any official visit he may plan to the Island during his term as President. It will also write to Louth County council inviting them to send a joint invite."

Joe Biden, 78, is due to be Inaugurated as President of the United States on 20 January 2021.

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