US President Joe Biden has praised Ireland and the Irish people during his visit to Co Louth.
President Biden arrived in the county earlier after driving in a motorcade from Dublin Airport.
His first stop was a tour of Carlingford Castle, where he met with Tánaiste Micheál Martin.
He then travelled to Dundalk where took part in a walkabout in the town centre.
In a speech at the Windsor Bar in the town, President Biden recalled his family leaving Ireland for the United States.
"In a sense I know why my ancestors, and many of your relatives, left during the Famine," he said.
"But when you're here you wonder why anybody would ever want to leave - I mean it.
"So it's good to be back".
President Biden also asked his sister Valerie and son Hunter, who are travelling with him, to stand.
"I wish our mom - Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden - were here today, she'd be so damn proud," he told the crowd.
"Louth held such a special place in her heart, and it really did, and today we carry her home in our heart.
"We think about her all the time.
"Coming here feels like coming home, and it really does.
"Every time I've come the welcome, the people in the streets, they're just so gracious to us.
"Earlier today I had a chance to visit another special place: Carlingford Castle... that was likely one of the last glimpses that the Finnegan family saw when they set sail for America".
'Fierce pride' in Irish ancestry
President Biden said his grandfather would often tell him: "Remember Joey, the best drop of blood in you is Irish".
"He'd never been to Ireland, but he raised his family with a fierce pride in our Irish ancestry".
President Biden said Irish people, in particular, have hope.
"I've often said the Irish are the only people in the world, in my view, who actually are nostalgic about the future," he said.
"It's because more than anything, in my experience, hope is what beats in the heart of all people - particularly in the heart of the Irish.
"Every action is about hope, we can make things better.
"[It's] hope that built both our nations and has been passed down generation to generation by our families".
'That's the Irish of it'
President Biden quoted Pope John Paul II about Irish people keeping the faith through the centuries.
"I think that's who we are, we keep the faith," he said.
"I'm not talking about religion per se, I'm talking about keeping the faith - the faith in who we are, what we believe and what our values are.
"So my message to you today is quite simple: we have to continue to keep the faith.
"We believe anything is possible... if we set our mind to it - that's who we are.
"I think possibilities are what we have to be focused on, and that's the power of faith, that's the promise of hope.
"As my mother would say, 'That's the Irish of it'," he added.
Tune in as I participate in a community gathering in Dundalk, Ireland. https://t.co/ZQtHBHq02v
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 12, 2023