St. Patrick’s Day is coming early to Washington this year.
On Friday, Speaker John Boehner and President Obama– along with Vice President Biden and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny– put their political differences aside and broke bread, drank, and were merry as they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day during the 31st annual Friends of Ireland luncheon at the U.S. Capitol.
The Friends of Ireland club was first started in 1981 by Irish American politicians Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Daniel Moynihan, and House Speaker Tip O’Neill as a way for them to support peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. But it wasn’t until March 17th 1983 the luncheon was established as a way for Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic speaker Tip O’Neill to put their political differences aside and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
Speaker Boehner posted the invitation to his @speakerboehner Instagram account on Wednesday and invited all of his followers to come behind the scenes leading up to the luncheon.
In the first photo, which is the formal invitation sent out all guests, the caption reads: Consider this your invitation to come behind the scenes as we prepare for the Speaker’s annual St. Patrick’s Day luncheon at the @uscapitol. Guests include President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland.#FriendsOfIreland
The caption for the above photo reads: #TBT → President Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O’Neill dine together for the very first#FriendsOfIreland luncheon in 1983.
The caption says: All of our guests will receive one of these pins for entrance into the luncheon tomorrow.#FriendsOfIreland #StPatricksDay
Caption: Place settings for the president, the speaker, the prime minister of Ireland, and his wife.#FriendsOfIreland #StPatricksDay
During the luncheon Speaker Boehner’s Instagram account continued sending out live updates for all those that are fans of all things Irish using hashtag #FriendsOfIreland.
Soundcheck time for Gerry Timlin and Tom Kane, our musical guests. #FriendsOfIreland #StPatricksDay
Honored to welcome Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland to the @uscapitol. #FriendsOfIreland#StPatricksDay
Enjoying the entertainment at our #FriendsOfIrelandluncheon. #StPatricksDay
It was an honor hosting another #FriendsOfIrelandluncheon. Thanks for following along. #StPatricksDay