Dublin ̵1; It didn’t last long.
Joe Biden managed to tread carefully about historical and current political sensitivities during the first part of his visit to the island of Ireland this week, 25 years after the US-broke good friday agreement sought to secure lasting peace for Northern Ireland.
But shortly after entering the Republic of Ireland from UK territory on Wednesday, the US president made a major blunder: He confused New Zealand’s “All Blacks” rugby team with the infamous “Black and Tans” British military unit, Who fought with the Irish. Republican army a century ago.
At the end of a speech at a pub on Wednesday night, Biden – a distant cousin of Irish Foreign Minister Michael Martin and star rugby player Rob Kearney – tried to praise one of Kearney’s greatest sporting achievements. That’s when the Irish rugby team beat new zealand In November 2016 in Chicago for the first time in 111 years. New Zealand’s squad is famously called All BlackWith reference to his uniform.
The trouble is, Biden left out a reference that may well reflect Irish rebel history and his connection to it. Folk music,
“He’s one hell of a rugby player, and he beat the hell out of the Black and Tans,” Biden said to the laughter of the audience.
The Black and Tans were an auxiliary unit of the British Security Forces that fought IRA rebels in the 1919–21 War of Independence from Britain. His name refers to the improvised and inconsistent colors of his uniform.
The unrelentingly pro-Biden coverage on state broadcaster RTÉ, which aired his speech live, did not acknowledge the mistake. Commentator’s sign-off? “Well, that’s Joe Biden: a little bit sentimental, a little bit schlocky, but a totally decent guy and a good friend to Ireland. It’s been a great start to the journey.”
But the omission and “Rob Kearney” Blasted in attack Social media in Ireland. Some listed the career achievements of the retired rugby fullback, including most famously, his single-handed defeat of the British Army a century earlier.
“The biggest gift Ireland wanted from Joe Biden was a signature gaffe. And… didn’t he just go and give us one for the century,” Tweeted Comedian Oliver Callen.
Biden had another Kearny gaffe in the reshuffle: He still hasn’t figured it out how to say his name,
while introducing Kearny in the White House On St. Patrick’s Day, Biden called her Kir-nee. Irish people pronounce the name Kar-nee. Biden stuck with Kearney on Wednesday.