Irish Taoiseach prematurely tweets about ‘very positive’ call with Joe Biden

Tweet posted on Michael Martin’s account swiftly deleted as call has not yet taken place

Kate Ng
Tuesday 10 November 2020 18:08
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Taoiseach Micheal Martin during his visit to Dublin City Council offices where he met with Community Call Forum volunteers and local authority staff to acknowledge the vital work they are undertaking during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin during his visit to Dublin City Council offices where he met with Community Call Forum volunteers and local authority staff to acknowledge the vital work they are undertaking during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Irish premier has deleted a premature tweet about having a “very positive call” with US president-elect Joe Biden, although a call between the two leaders has not yet happened.

Taoiseach Michael Martin posted a tweet, which said: “Just finished a very positive phone call with US President Elect JoeBiden.”

The tweet was quickly deleted and no immediate explanation was made. A Government source told the PA news agency that a phone call is being arranged between Mr Martin and Mr Biden but it has not yet happened.

The source said the tweet was sent in error.

A call between the Taoiseach and Mr Biden would be one of the first the US president-elect has had with world leaders.

Mr Biden has had one call on Monday with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. No call has take place yet with prime minister Boris Johnson.

Mr Martin appeared to have gotten ahead of himself in his excitement over Mr Biden’s election of the next president of the US.

Speaking at the Dail Eireann, which is the lower house of Irish legislature, he described Mr Biden as “the most Irish of presidents since John F. Kennedy”.

He said the Irish Government was “particularly pleased” that Mr Biden had “won the confidence of the American people”, describing the win as an “outstanding personal mandate” - the biggest in the history of US presidential elections.

Each of Mr Biden’s eight maternal great great-grandparents were born in Ireland, as well as two great-grandparents on his father’s side. He once said: “Ireland will be written on my soul.”

Dublin hopes the election of Mr Biden will swing Brexit negotiations in Ireland’s favour, as the end of the transition period looms on the horizon.

Mr Biden has warned he would not sign a trade deal with the UK if Mr Johnson presses ahead with plans to break international law, which would see the Government overriding the Brexit deal with the EU on Northern Ireland.

Simon Coveney, the foreign minister for Ireland, told RTE on Monday that Mr Biden’s presidency is “cause for a pause for thought in Number 10 to ensure that the Irish issues are prioritised as we try to close out this phase of the Brexit negotiation”.

He added: “I don’t say that in any way that’s provocative towards the UK. I think it’s just reality. I think we all want now to try to see the back of tense stand-offs linked to Brexit.”

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