Joe Biden was caught out in a major gaffe during his tour of the Republic of Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement which included a whistle stop meeting with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak before continuing onto Dundalk on Wednesday evening.
After landing at Dublin Airport early on Wednesday, April 12, he made the car trip to Louth as a result of the poor weather.
He had several public speaking events to attend on the day and amongst the many insightful comments the President made, one has resulted in a trending topic on various social media platforms.
During his remarks in Louth, he appeared to confuse the All Blacks with the Black and Tans when speaking about former-rugby player and distant cousin Rob Kearney.
The US President was paying homage to Kearney when he thanked him for the tie he wore and mentioned the match at Soldier Field in Chicago against the New Zealand All Blacks.
Biden appeared to say Kearney and Ireland “beat the hell out of the Black and Tans” as he seemingly left the audience dumb-founded.
Mr. Biden described him as “a hell of a rugby player” who “beat the Black and Tans.” Mr. Biden continued, correcting himself after reflecting on what he just said, “Ah god. But, but it was when you were at Soldier Field, wasn’t it? Chicago.
“After it was all over he gave my brother, allegedly for me – but if it wasn’t I still took it – I still got the tie. I wore it with great pride.”
Mr. Biden is believed to be alluding to the All Blacks rugby team. The Black and Tans were constables recruited into the Royal Irish Constabulary as reinforcements during the Irish War of Independence.
The nickname “Black and Tans” stems from the colours of the improvised uniforms they initially wore, a mixture of dark green from the RIC (which looked black) and khaki from the British Army.
They served all across Ireland, but most were sent to southern and western regions where fighting was more fierce.
When asked if he noticed his error, Amanda Sloat, NSC senior director for Europe, replied, “It was clear what the President was referring to, it was certainly clear to his cousins sitting next to him.”
Despite the terrible gaffe, Mr Biden “had the time of his life” during his visit to County Louth, said to the White House.
The US President’s press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated: “He had the chance to meet so many Irishmen and speak about the close ties between American and the Irish people.”
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