Thursday 22 August 2019

I'll be back - president tells Irish officials that he intends to make return trip

Disapproval: Stan Simberg, from New York, who travelled to protest against the visit, at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square, Dublin. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Disapproval: Stan Simberg, from New York, who travelled to protest against the visit, at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square, Dublin. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Ireland may not have seen the last of Donald Trump - and he is due back on this side of the Atlantic as early as December.

The US president's visit to Doonbeg has gone down extremely well with his chief advisers.

And sources say Mr Trump told Irish officials that he intends to make a return visit at some stage.

He is scheduled to attend a Nato summit in London next December, which would be an opportunity for another stopover.

But Government sources say this is considered "highly unlikely" at this stage. They noted that Mr Trump has now had two formal engagements with the Taoiseach in the space of three months - which is very unusual for any country.

The source added that the US president's visit involved "huge logistical work" and was therefore unlikely to be repeated in the near future. However, a Government spokesman told the Irish Independent: "The president will be welcome back at any time. I think that's clear.

"In a similar way, Ireland is invited into the White House on an annual basis."

It means the 'standing invitation' to the American leader has effectively been reissued despite him already having cost taxpayers €10m for security.

Mr Trump is understood to have told officials in Doonbeg that he enjoyed his time at the resort and would like to visit again.

He also spoke about his "love" for this country during his meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Shannon Airport on Wednesday.

The president said they had become "good friends" in a very short period of time.

They have now met three times since Mr Varadkar came to power.

Irish officials were monitoring Mr Trump's Twitter feed last night for any mention of his stay in Ireland.

But they were satisfied that he would have no complaints.

Mr Trump's departure for Washington took place 30 minutes later than had been scheduled.

He was delayed at Doonbeg where schoolchildren and bad weather interrupted his round of golf on the links course. The president and first lady Melania Trump arrived at Shannon Airport by helicopter around 3pm.

He was dressed in a dark suit, white shirt, no tie and red USA hat.

Meanwhile, Ms Trump wore a khaki trench coat and light blue scarf in her hair.

Irish Independent

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