Friday 9 December 2016

Enda Kenny questioned when he'll meet Trump to tell him he's 'racist'

Published 09/11/2016 | 13:24

Enda Kenny criticised for congratulating Donald Trump Photo: PA
Enda Kenny criticised for congratulating Donald Trump Photo: PA

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been asked when he will meet US president-elect Donald Trump to tell him he believes his views are "racist".

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AAA-PBP TD Ruth Coppinger today reminded the Dáil that Mr Kenny previously described comments by Mr Trump as "racist" and asked the Taoiseach when he will meet him to tell him that "face-to-face".

Earlier this year Mr Kenny said that he considered comments by Mr Trump during the campaign as "racist and dangerous" and pointed out "there is an alternative to vote for".

Those remarks were made in response to Dáil questions from Ms Coppinger's AAA-PBP colleague Richard Boyd Barrett.

Speaking today Ms Coppinger branded Mr Trump "a racist, a misogynist, a homophobe and many other things besides."

She criticised Mr Kenny as well as the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin for congratulating Mr Trump on his victory.

"Taoiseach I’d ask you that rather than sending congratulations to Donald Trump that this parliament and the people of this country would prefer if we sent sympathy and support to every single person of colour, every immigrant, every LGBT person, every Muslim and of course every woman in America who is in danger of Trump acting out some of his policies," she added.

In response Mr Kenny pointed out that the people of the United States had made "a very democratic decision" and that Mr Trump had won the popular vote as well as the electoral college.

"I recall a comment made here in the Dáil when I think it was Deputy Boyd Barrett asked me if I would agree that comments made in the heat of battle in a primary election by the president elect  - I think before he was nominated formally as the candidate - were racist and dangerous and I said yes in respect of those comments."

Mr Kenny added: "I listened very carefully to the president elect this morning and the first thing he said was that it’s now time to heal wounds. It’s now time to build partnerships, it’s now time to work constructively with... all the people of the United States and every other country and peoples who want to work with him."

Mr Kenny told Ms Coppinger that he has differences of opinion with her, but he was happy to congratulate her on being elected to the Dáil.

He said that the government will work with Mr Trump's administration on the Peace Process in the North, the issue of 50,000 undocumented Irish emigrants in the States and on economic matters.

"I’ll be happy to deal with the president in a very constructive way as he has announced to the world that his administration will work to heal the wounds in America," he added.

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