WhereVarious locations Louth
Follow in the footsteps of President Biden on a visit to County Louth
US President Joe Biden’s ancestors, the Finnegan family, can be traced back to Whitestown in the picturesque Cooley Peninsula in County Louth. The President is the only person to hold the ‘Freedom of Louth’ and has visited the county on a number of occasions, most recently during his official visit to Ireland in April 2023, when he said that his trip to Co. Louth “feels like coming home”.
Louth is located in Ireland’s Ancient East, equidistant between the cities of Dublin and Belfast, and boasts a mix of natural beauty, thriving urban areas and some of the finest food and music the country has to offer. We’ve put together The Biden Bucket List, so you can follow in the Presidents footsteps and discover all the places he has been to in the county:
President Biden visited Carlingford Castle, a significant historical landmark dating back to Norman times, which stands guard over Carlingford village and harbour. The castle enjoys stunning views across Carlingford Lough and is one of the last landmarks his ancestors would have seen as they sailed out of the lough on their way to a new life in America.
While at the Castle the President was entertained by the Carlingford Pipe Band, who played a tune specially composed by piper David Mc Closkey, entitled "A Biden Return". The band, who celebrate their 50th anniversary this year, were rewarded with an invitation to the White House! Watch out for the band when you’re in Carlingford as they play there from time to time.
The charming village of Carlingford lies on the shores of the lough and is nestled at the foot of Slieve Foye mountain. It is renowned for its narrow medieval streets, stunning scenery, outdoor adventure activities and famous for Carlingford Oysters. Call into the Carlingford Tourist Office to book a guided walking tour of the village and Castle remains, to discover more about its history and heritage.
Dundalk was the Presidents next destination, where two of the town’s popular hospitality businesses were delighted to welcome him with open arms.
McAteers The Food House, located on Clanbrassil Street, is a family-friendly restaurant, gourmet food store and deli serving delicious, natural food in the heart of the town. According to McAteers “Joe just loved our Bread & Butter Pudding. To mark the occasion we are now calling it the Bread & Biden Pudding”, why not try some when you’re there!
The Windsor Bar & Restaurant were also delighted to host the President. This "Black and White" award winning emporium is situated at the corner of Dublin Street and Vincent Avenue, and boasts a selection of bars, an Off Licence and a full a la carte restaurant.
Dundalk itself is a bustling town which is rich in history. Discover more about the rich heritage and culture of the county on a visit to the Louth County Museum, located on Jocelyn Street, with exhibits showcasing everything from agriculture to the arts. Call into the Dundalk Tourist Office, located at the Market Square, for lots of information on what to see and do in the area, or to book a guided walking tour of the SEEK Urban Art murals depicting historical figures and events of note.
On an earlier visit to the county in 2016, the then Vice President visited Cill Mhúire (Kilwirra) Cemetery on the Cooley Peninsula where his ancestors are laid to rest. The peninsula is known for its stunning coastline, mountains and scenic drives, making it a favourite amongst tourists. Lily Finnegans traditional Irish pub, near the Presidents ancestral home in Whitestown, is where he stopped off to catch up with all his Irish cousins.
Louth, Land of Legends, combines thousands of years of history, myth and legends with dramatic scenery and coastline, making for a truly memorable holiday experience. Why not plan a visit soon…a warm welcome awaits you!
Accommodation: County Louth offers a great range of first-rate accommodation for visitors to choose from, ranging from Four Star hotels to cosy B&Bs and guest houses, as well as self-catering and glamping options. For a list of accommodation in Louth click here (and filter by town).
Restaurants: For a list of restaurants in Louth click here (and filter by town).
Note: Opening hours and booking requirements should be confirmed with individual attractions and restaurants in advance of visiting.
Why not explore more of County Louth, there is so much to see and do, from outdoor adventures, historic attractions, blue flag beaches and seafood trails to miles of mountain & coastal walks. Plan your visit here, download a Visit Louth Map & Guide or check out other Visit Louth itineraries here.