Taoiseach Micheál Martin tested positive for Covid-19 in Washington DC late last night, leading to the likely cancellation of today’s traditional St Patrick’s Day meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House.
Irish Ambassador Dan Mulhall told guests at the Ireland Funds dinner in Washington that Mr Martin had tested positive through a precautionary PCR test on Wednesday evening, after a member of the Irish delegation visiting Washington DC had tested positive on a routine antigen test.
The White House insists any person visiting must undergo tests for Covid-19.
Mr Mulhall said the Taoiseach was feeling well but had left the dinner earlier. President Biden addressed the dinner, praising Mr Martin and paying tribute to the links between Ireland and the US. President Biden left the venue at the National Building Museum after his speech.
Officials said the meeting scheduled for the Oval Office on Thursday morning would almost certainly be cancelled.
The meeting may take place virtually, officials said.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi also addressed the dinner, warning the British government that if the Irish Border was “hardened” there would be “no US-UK trade deal”.