American vice president Joe Biden joked that he did not want to leave Ireland as he gave his closing speech after his state visit to the country.
Over his six day visit he travelled to Mayo, Dublin and Louth and took an emotional trip to Ballina, where his great-great-great grandfather Edward Blewitt was from.
“I consider myself incredibly fortunate to not only have got an opportunity to know An Taoiseach and Fionnuala and your children. It’s phrase used lightly in international politics, ‘I’ve become your friend’. But I really consider Enda a friend. He has been incredibly generous to us,” Mr Biden said.
The Taoiseach agreed: “You are a man of conscience, a man of courage, a man of conviction, a friend of Ireland, a supporter of Ireland, a son of Ireland. Above all, one of the world’s true gentlemen. A man I am proud to call my close friend.”