Monday 5 December 2016

TD calls on Irish rugby team to cancel planned stay at Trump hotel

Ian Begley

Published 22/10/2016 | 12:23

Donald Trump speaks during the third and final US presidential debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump speaks during the third and final US presidential debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Brid Smith. Photo: Tom Burke

The Irish Rugby team should reconsider staying at the Donald Trump Hotel next month, according to a People-Before-Profit TD.

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The team are due to stay in Donald Trump’s Chicago hotel ahead of their upcoming game against the All Blacks in Solider’s Field on November 5 – just three days before the US public go to the polls.

The stay has been criticised, however, by Deputy Brid Smith, who believes that the presidential candidate could use the Irish team’s stay as an endorsement.

Speaking to Independent.ie, she said: “If the Irish rugby team really want to keep sports and politics separately they shouldn’t stay at the Donald Trump hotel in the middle of a presidential election.

“I believe that Trump could certainly use this as an endorsement as there is a huge amount of people in the US with Irish backgrounds.

“I’m sure he’s perfectly aware that he needs the Irish diaspora vote and will be looking to chase it. I wouldn’t put it past him to use the team’s stay to his advantage. This is why I don’t think they should stay there,” said Deputy Smith.

Brid Smith. Photo: Tom Burke
Brid Smith. Photo: Tom Burke

In a statement The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) said the hotel was chosen at the start of this year, months before Trump became the official Republican candidate.

Chicago is also hosting a large packaging expo during the same weekend as the Ireland-New Zealand match so the Irish team was left with few options, they say.

“The accommodation requirements of the team are purely based on the facilities that are available and if they match the requirements, that’s simply it.”

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