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President Obama meets with Taoiseach Cowen in celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, President Obama met with the Taoiseach of Ireland Brian Cowen this morning. The President thanked the Taoiseach for Ireland’s assistance on important international issues and said that the U.S. and Ireland will be working together to address world hunger.

The President later attended Speaker Pelosi’s Friends of Ireland Luncheon, accompanied by the Taoiseach and the Vice President. At the luncheon, President Obama paid tribute to the late Ted Kennedy.

Just a few years ago, on St. Patrick’s Day, so it would probably be maybe five years ago, when I had just gotten to the Senate, Teddy cornered me on the Senate floor for my support on a piece of legislation.  And I told him, “You’ve got my vote, Teddy, but I got to tell you, this is not looking good.  I do not think this thing is going to fly.”  But it did, with votes to spare.  And so I grabbed Teddy, pulled him aside.  I said, “How did you pull that off?”  And he just patted me on the back and he said, “Luck of the Irish!”

Ireland Luncheon 3.17

President Barack Obama addresses the Friends of Ireland luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 17, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This evening President Obama and the First Lady will host the annual St. Patrick’s Day Reception, where the President and the Taoiseach will participate in a traditional Shamrock Ceremony.

Green Fountain 3.17

The water in the fountain on the North Lawn of the White House is dyed green in honor of St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)