Minister prepares to roll out red carpet for Trump during visit to Doonbeg despite planned protests
A visit by US President Donald Trump would showcase "the most beautiful coastline in Ireland" and be "very beneficial", according to Business Minister Pat Breen.
However, while he may be prepared to roll out the red carpet for Mr Trump in Co Clare, those opposed to the controversial US president's likely visit are preparing for protests.
A coalition of activist groups including anti-war protesters and left-wing politicians are set to demonstrate in Dublin and Clare. The Irish Anti-War Movement is among groups who plan to protest. Spokesman Jim Roche accused Mr Trump of escalating the war in Afghanistan and stepping up support for the "horrific regime" in Saudi Arabia.
A White House decision on whether or not Mr Trump will visit his golf resort in Doonbeg, Co Clare, during a trip to Europe in June is not expected until next week at the earliest. Mr Trump has said he intends to visit Ireland this year.
Mr Breen said he would welcome a visit by Mr Trump, citing the strong relationship between the US and Ireland.
He also said that Mr Trump's hotel in Doonbeg was a "very big employer", with almost 300 summertime staff.
Mr Breen acknowledged that there would be protests and said he had "no problem" provided they were peaceful, adding "we live in a democracy".
He suggested a summer visit would "showcase" the Co Clare coastline.