By David Hughes, PA Political Editor in San Diego
Brenda Blewitt, whose father, Brendan, is President Biden’s third cousin said she hopes he will visit the west of Ireland during his visit next month.
“I would love him to come to Mayo and I hope he factors it into his visit,” she told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
Ms Blewitt added that there is always “good rivalry” between Louth – where Mr Biden also has ancestral roots – and Mayo.
Mr Biden had been “blown away” by the crowds who came out to meet him in 2016. A family lunch which was meant to last 45 minutes ended up lasting three hours, she said.
“He was really interested in everyone and all we were doing,” she said. Mr Biden was “very, very interested” in his family roots.
Later on the same programme, Mr Biden’s fifth cousin, Fianna Fáil councillor Andrea McKevitt made the pitch for Mr Biden to stop off in Louth when travelling between Dublin and Belfast.
“We’re in the middle of that journey. So it would be an obvious stop off for him to visit his ancestral home in Cooley in County Louth.”
Cllr McKevitt acknowledged that the Louth ancestral links were not as strong as President Biden’s Mayo links, but she pointed out that he had clearly been very happy when he previously visited.
“I think he would like to come back .”
Good Friday Agreement
It comes as Joe Biden said he intends to visit both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after being invited to mark the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
The US president was speaking after Rishi Sunak formally invited him to make the trip to mark the 25th anniversary in April as the pair held talks in San Diego.
As the pair met in Point Loma naval base, Mr Biden said: “It’s my intention to go to Northern Ireland and the Republic.”
Mr Sunak told the president: “I look forward to our conversations and also importantly, to invite you to Northern Ireland, which hopefully you will be able to do and so we can commemorate the anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
“I know it’s something very special and personal to you. we’d love to have you over.”
Mr Biden said: “Twenty-five years? It seems like yesterday.”
The US president joked about Mr Sunak’s home in Santa Monica as the pair met following the announcement of the Aukus submarine pact.
“First of all, I want to welcome you back to California. He’s a Stanford man, and he still has a home here in California,” he said.
“That’s why I’m being very nice to you, maybe you can invite me to your home in California. But all kidding aside, I think it’s an historic day for our countries.”
Ahead of their talks, Mr Sunak dampened any hopes that he could get the president to reopen negotiations on a post-Brexit free trade deal with the US.
The British Prime Minister insisted transatlantic trade was “growing massively anyway” as he praised pacts with individual states ahead of his meeting with the US president in San Diego on Monday.
A free trade deal with the world’s largest economy had been touted as one of the prizes of leaving the European Union but negotiations have stalled.
Mr Sunak insisted his new Windsor pact with the EU was a “great step forward” for Northern Ireland, following hopes it could ease tensions with Democrats in the US and pave the way for trade talks.
But the British Prime Minister downplayed the focus on a free trade deal with the US, telling GB News: “America is always, and has always been for a long time, our closest economic relationship, it’s our single biggest trade partner.”