President Joe Biden was slated to take part in a “charm offensive” out in Ireland, but the White House ended up having to go directly into damage control after he mixed up an extremely well-known rugby team out of New Zealand with an Irish terroristic paramilitary group.
As part of the first day of a recent appearance at the Windsor Pub in Dundalk for his trip, Biden apparently intended to make reference to the All Blacks — the famous national rugby team for New Zealand –and instead spoke out to say something regarding the Black and Tans.
The White House have now corrected Joe Biden’s embarrassing Ireland gaffe. I wonder how much of their time is spent doing this? pic.twitter.com/Z7bAvRvbxL
— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) April 13, 2023
“I’m so proud to be here, so proud to be in Louth, so proud to be with — I don’t want to ruin their reputation, but — ” before he quickly dropped to a whisper to say “— the Kearneys are relatives.”
“And the closing comment I make: You see this tie I have with this shamrock on it? This was given to me by one of these guys right here. He was a hell of a rugby player, and he beat the hell out of the Black and Tans. Oh, God,” Biden went on, causing a round of laughter from the gathered crowd.
“But — but it was when you — or it’s Solider Field. Wasn’t it, the game?” Biden questioned prior to going on. “Chicago. And 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 wear it with great pride.”
White House officials quickly went out and corrected the transcripts to show that Biden actually meant to say the All Blacks — a change which was confirmed by White House official Amanda Sloan: “I think for everyone in Ireland who was a rugby fan, it was incredibly clear that the president was talking about the All Blacks and Ireland’s defeat of the New Zealand team.”
Biden is very well known for his constant steam of gaffes when making public statements — most of which just makes him seem like the forgetful grandpa — but this particular screwup could end up costing him quite a bit of goodwill when it comes to the British. The Black and Tans he mentioned by accident were a group of English officers that were recruited into the Royal Irish Constabulary, doing battle against the Irish Republican Army throughout Ireland’s war for independence (1919-1921).
Irish comedian Oliver Callan ended up finding it quite funny, however, posting to social media, “The greatest gift Ireland wanted from Joe Biden was a signature gaffe. And be the holies didn’t he just go and give us one for the century.”
The greatest gift Ireland wanted from Joe Biden was a signature gaffe. And be the holies didn't he just go and give us one for the century. Musha musha macushla #BlackAndTans #AllBlacks #BidenVisit #Dundalk https://t.co/YgffXkZI68
— Oliver Callan (@olivercallan) April 12, 2023