Thank you very much. It's a great honor. Taoiseach, Mrs. Kenny, Ambassador Anderson, Dr. Lowe, Vice President Pence, and distinguished guests, we gather here today in the White House to take part in the traditional Shamrock Ceremony, and to celebrate the strong ties between the United States and a truly great country, Ireland. I also want to extend a special welcome to a group of distinguished local political and society leaders, and they are real leaders, who are with us from Northern Ireland, great people. Including the mayor of Belfast and the head of Northern Ireland Civil Service, that's a lot of power there. [Laughter] Lord Mayor Kingston and Sir Malcolm McKibbin, and it's wonderful to have you. Where are you folks? Where are you? [Applause] Thank you. And they're going to be having a great open championship soon, I know that, right? [Laughter] At a great course. At a great, great course. St. Patrick's Day has become a truly important occasion in the United States. One embraced by Americans of all faiths and of all backgrounds. I've been to many of them and we love it. The Shamrock Ceremony is a tradition that symbolized the bond between our two countries. It dates back to 1952 when the Irish Ambassador to the United States, John Joseph Hearn, sent a box of shamrocks to a president who did a very good job, Harry S. Truman. Our strong ties go back throughout American history. Irish Americans played a vital role in preserving our union during its hour of greatest need, so true. It played a very, very big role. Many distinguished themselves in the American Civil War with their grit and their bravery and their courage, earning the nickname "The Fighting Irish". And I know a lot about the Irish, they fight, they're tough. [Laughter] I know a lot, I know more than I'm ever going to tell you. [Laughter] And when American armed forces joined the fight in Europe during World War II, 75 years ago, our heroic troops first stepped off ships in Belfast harbor in Northern Ireland. Throughout the centuries hard working Irish Americans contributed mightily to America's innovation, and to America's prosperity. They often overcame great hardship, it's like the hardship they overcame for us, for our people is inspiring, and really helped a relatively young nation, beyond what anyone really understands or knows. So we want to thank you, just an amazing history. President John F. Kennedy, in an address to the Irish Parliament, said that, "it is that quality of the Irish, that remarkable combination of hope, confidence, and imagination that is needed more than ever today." Now he said that a long time ago, but it is perhaps even more true today. The words of America's first Irish Catholic president ring just as true. We hope confidence, and I tell you, what we want now is a lot of things, but we need that great Irish confidence, and they are confident people, aren't they? [Applause] And I tell you what, we all want it together to grow in the 21st Century. And grow, we will. As I say bigger and better and stronger than ever before. We must have the hope to believe in a better future, the confidence to pursue it, and the imagination to figure out how to get there. A new optimism is sweeping across our nation. You see that when you look at the numbers, the optimism is at the highest level in many, many years. And as America gains renewed strength, Ireland will find us to be an ever faithful partner and an always loyal friend. We will be there for you and we will be there for you. [Applause] So thank you for being here, I wish you a very, very happy St. Patrick's Day and God Bless you, and may God Bless Ireland, and Northern Ireland -- [Applause] And may God Bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you, thank you very much.