Marion Mckeone: Not even a Covid diagnosis can dampen Irish spirits after a successful week in DC

This year’s St Patrick’s Day events in Washington DC will be deemed a diplomatic success, despite Micheál Martin contracting the virus

US president Joe Biden meets virtually with Micheál Martin in the Oval Office of the White House. The leaders met via video after Martin tested positive for Covid-19. Picture: Getty

In politics as in comedy, timing is everything. There’s never a good time to catch Covid-19, but for Taoiseach Micheál Martin, it was particularly unfortunate to learn of his diagnosis moments before Nancy Pelosi, the house speaker, was to present him with an international leadership award in front of 800 of Washington DC’s staunchest Irish supporters.

As Pelosi put it afterwards, “it was during the appetiser they took him away”, unwittingly conjuring up scenes of ...