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Friday 9 December 2016

Biden enjoys golf, apple tart and pub rendition of 'Ole, Ole, Ole'

US Vice President Joe Biden and Taoiseach Enda Kenny share a joke during their round
at Castlebar Golf Club (Picture: Maxwells)
US Vice President Joe Biden and Taoiseach Enda Kenny share a joke during their round at Castlebar Golf Club (Picture: Maxwells)

US Vice President Joe Biden took up a long-standing invitation for a round of golf in Ireland yesterday - and even a nervous moment when his ball almost made a visit to a water hazard couldn't dampen his mood.

Mr Biden and his brother Jim joined Taoiseach Enda Kenny and club captain Frank Murray for a four-ball at Castlebar Golf Club. While he revealed the game wasn't going in his favour, the sides diplomatically announced they had halved the match on the 18th hole.

Despite boasting a single-digit handicap, the Vice President almost hit the water on the tricky 16th hole, but narrowly escaped having to take a drop.

Asked how the golf was going, he hinted that the rest of the course may have thrown up some other challenges, joking that at least his career was faring better.

"It's going," he said. "Fortunately, politics is going better."

After his round, Mr Biden marked the occasion by planting a native Mountain Ash tree on the grounds of the club before mingling with members in the clubhouse over tea and apple tart.

The tart, made by local woman Pauline Donahue, proved a huge hit with the Vice President - who went back for second helpings.

The relaxing day followed a whistle-stop tour of Mayo on Wednesday, where Mr Biden met with relatives and greeted hundreds of well-wishers in Ballina, Castlebar and Westport.

He had finished off his first day in Mayo with a musical session in Matt Molloy's pub in Westport, where news of the Irish win in France saw Mr Biden and Mr Kenny lead the pub in a rendition of 'Ole, Ole, Ole'.

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After making time for the countless locals who wanted to wish him well, he didn't manage to make his dinner at An Port Mor restaurant in the town - but that didn't stop him nipping across to the popular eatery to enjoy a late-night bowl of ice cream in the alleyway.

However, he got to spend his final day in Mayo in a relaxed mode on the golf course before flying back to Dublin, where he will visit Trinity College and Dublin Castle.

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