Kenny forced by FF to condemn Trump
Published 01/06/2016 | 02:30
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has finally joined the chorus of international condemnation of US presidential candidate Donald Trump.
After choosing his words carefully on Mr Trump in Washington last month, Mr Kenny has now ditched diplomatic protocol to brand the Republican candidate's comments as "racist and dangerous".
Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar described remarks by Mr Trump as "sexist" and "misogynistic".
Mr Kenny was forced into hardening his stance under questioning from Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Mr Martin referred to Mr Trump's promise to ban Muslims from entering the US. He said other governments had indicated they would not accept any attempt to impose an exclusion on travel based on religion.
Mr Martin asked the Taoiseach to confirm he would not host Mr Trump on a visit to Ireland "as part of an attempt to moderate his image".
Finance Minister Michael Noonan famously welcomed Mr Trump to Shannon Airport.
Mr Kenny said he would not tolerate "any situation where religion or discrimination would apply in terms of proposals from another leader or government".
The Taoiseach initally tried to resist making any direct criticism of Mr Trump. Under further pressure, he then added: "If Trump's comments are racist and dangerous, which they are, there is an alternative to vote for."
Mr Varadkar said: "I think any reasonable person would agree that some of the comments he has made are racist, particularly in relation to Latinos, and also many of the things he has said are sexist."