What does mayo mean to Sam? Joe Biden Speech Explained

PRESIDENT Biden concluded his tour of Ireland with an impassioned speech about his roots in April 2023.

During his speech he said something that referred to a famous Irish sports team from Mayo. Here we look at what he said and the meaning behind it.

Joe Biden paid tribute to his Irish heritage in his speech


Joe Biden paid tribute to his Irish heritage in his speech

What did Joe Biden say in his speech in Ireland?

US President Joe Biden addressed tens of thousands of people during the final leg of his four-day tour of Ireland.

Biden’s parents Jean and Joseph Sr. both had Irish ancestry.

The President paid tribute to his County Mayo roots, saying, “Over the years, stories about this place have become part of my soul, part of my family history.”

He also said that he and his siblings grew up with “a fierce pride in our Irish ancestry”.

Unionist anger as Joe Biden mistakes a rugby team for brutal police forces
Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal welcomed by Biden ahead of US investment

As he finished his speech, Biden shouted “Mayo for Sam,” which drew cheers and applause from the crowd.

What does mayo mean to Sam?

Mayo for Sam refers to the Mayo Gaelic football team, who have not won the All-Ireland Championship since 1951.

The Sam part of the saying refers to the Sam McGuire Cup, the trophy awarded to winners of the All-Ireland Championship.

Mayo last won this on 23 September 1951, beating County Meath at Croke Park Stadium in the final in Dublin.

During the celebrations, the team was driven back to Mayo in a truck and passed a funeral being held in the village of Foxford.

The myth has it that the players did not leave the vehicle to pay their respects to the deceased, which enraged the priest who received the service.

The priest is said to have then cursed them and declared: “As long as you are all alive, Mayo will not win another All-Ireland.”

Since then, Mayo has reached the finals 11 times and lost them all.

However, this myth has been debunked as records have shown that no funerals were held in the village of Foxford that day, suggesting their poor results last May were just bad luck.

what did people say

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar described Biden as “the most Irish of all American presidents”.

Biden also met the priest who gave last rites to his late son Beau Biden.

Beau tragically passed away in 2015 after a battle with a brain tumor.

Father Frank O’Grady worked as an Army chaplain at the military hospital where he died and happened to meet President Biden while he was praying at Our Lady of Knock Shrine, a Catholic shrine in Mayo.

I'm 24 and toothless after months of vomiting - I won't hide my smile
I was accused of stealing from Target Self Checkout using a bizarre technique

I hadn’t actually seen him in eight years since Beau’s death,” he said.

“His son Hunter was there too so we had a real reunion.”


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: paulleblanc@dailynationtoday.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button