President Biden's five-day visit to the island of Ireland to begin in Belfast

It's understood that Joe Biden's presidential five-day trip to the island of Ireland is set to begin in Belfast. Mr Biden is expected to fly into Northern Ireland on April 11 ahead of a day of engagements in Belfast on April 12. The US president is then due to travel south later that day and will spend the remainder of the week in the Republic before leaving on Saturday April 15.

As well as official engagements in Dublin, Mr Biden is expected to travel beyond the capital for visits related to his Irish ancestry.

The politician can trace his ancestry to Ireland's west and east coasts, specifically Ballina in Co Mayo and the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth.

His great-great-grandfather Owen Finnegan emigrated to the United States from the Cooley peninsula, while another great-great-grandfather, Patrick Blewitt, was born in Ballina, leaving during the Irish famine in 1850 to sail to America.

Distant relatives celebrated his election win in November 2020 back in Ireland and gathered again in January 2021 to mark his inauguration.

The presidential visit to the island will have a strong focus on the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

This week Mr Biden made clear an increase in activity by violent dissident republicans opposed to the peace process in Northern Ireland would not deter him.

"No. They can't keep me out," he told reporters.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had invited Mr Biden to come to Northern Ireland to mark the agreement's anniversary.

Earlier this month, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the president that his trip to the island of Ireland would be "a visit like no other".

"I promise you that we're going to roll out the red carpet," he pledged to Mr Biden during their St Patrick's Day meeting in Washington DC.

White House officials and Secret Service personnel have already visited proposed locations as part of planning for the visit.

Former US president Bill Clinton and his wife and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton will be in Belfast the week after Mr Biden for more events to commemorate the landmark accord that largely ended the Troubles.

Other key figures involved in securing the deal are also due to travel to the city.

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