Monday 5 December 2016

Hillary plans 2016 Irish visit

Claire Mc Cormack

Published 29/11/2015 | 02:30

Cead mile failte: Hillary Clinton may squeeze in a trip some time in June in her packed pre-election itinerary
Cead mile failte: Hillary Clinton may squeeze in a trip some time in June in her packed pre-election itinerary

United States presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is tipped to visit Ireland next year as part of her fundraising campaign, the Sunday Independent has learned.

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Although fundraising efforts for the Democratic Party frontrunner are currently focused on the US, a member of Mrs Clinton's finance committee says a trip to Ireland is on the cards.

John Fitzpatrick, one of New York's best-known hoteliers who is a close associate of Mrs Clinton, said: "We have definitely spoken about it and are hoping to do some sort of fundraiser next year in Ireland."

Earlier this year, Democrats Abroad Ireland - the official arm of the party for US citizens who are not living in America - suggested that her husband, former US president Bill Clinton, will make a visit to Ireland as part of Hillary's campaign.

A spokesman said there is a "strong incentive" for the couple to visit, saying the trip in June could be squeezed into the packed pre-election itinerary.

A Clinton visit could boost the Irish-American vote ahead of the November election.

Dr Jack Thompson, a lecturer at UCD's Clinton Institute, said ties between the Clintons and Ireland remain strong both politically and personally.

This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of their historic visit to the north. Then president, Bill Clinton, issued a passionate and persuasive plea for the peace process to succeed.

"Irish Americans remain influential in the Democratic Party as fundraisers and insiders, especially in the Northeast. That is one reason Hillary may well fundraise here," said Dr Thompson.

However, he also says there isn't really "an Irish-American voting bloc" any more.

Sunday Independent

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