The US President Joe Biden has praised the contributions of Irish immigrants saying that they had helped define America's soul and shaped the country's success across generations. 

As is tradition in the US, March has been designated Irish-American Heritage Month.

In a statement, Mr Biden made reference to his own Irish roots the Blewitts from County Mayo and the Finnegans of County Louth to the United States.

"By 1909, my grandparents Ambrose Finnegan and Geraldine Blewitt met and married in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and passed on to my mother, Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden, a pride and a passion that runs through the bloodstream of all Irish-Americans," Mr Biden said.

In his statement, the US president said Irish-Americans became the farmers, servants, miners, factory workers, and labourers who fed the nation and built industries.

"Irish-Americans became the firefighters and police officers who have protected us. They are the activists who organised unions to give voice and strength to America's workers. They are the educators who taught generations of American students and the public servants who have answered the call to service in the halls of the Congress, the Supreme Court, and the White House," Mr Biden said.

"Irish-American writers pollinated America's literary landscape with their love of language and storytelling, while Irish lyricism has brought poetry, art, music, and dance to nourish our hearts and souls."

Mr Biden also made reference to a previous visit he made to Ireland.

"As I said when I visited Dublin in 2016, our nations have always shared a deep spark, linked in memory and imagination, joined by our histories and our futures," he said.

The traditional St Patrick's Day meeting between the Taoiseach and the US president will take place virtually this year.

Officials in Dublin and Washington are finalising the programme of events.