Speaker Ryan Announces Date of Annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon | Speaker.gov

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) today announced that the annual Friends of Ireland Luncheon will take place on Tuesday, March 15 in the Rayburn Room of the United States Capitol.

This is Speaker Ryan’s first year hosting the luncheon, which was started in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neill to signify their bipartisan commitment to peace and security in Ireland. The event will include remarks by President Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who is scheduled to make his sixth St. Patrick’s Day visit to the Capitol.

“Our friendship with the Irish runs so deep that it dates back to before America was even a country,” Speaker Ryan said. “I am honored to continue a tradition begun by Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill, and I hope to do it justice with good stories and not-so-good jokes.”

Aside from the State of the Union, the Friends of Ireland Luncheon is the one day each year that the speaker and the president are scheduled to be together in the Capitol. Watch this background video for more on the story of this bipartisan tradition.