Independent.ie readers have their say on the prospect of a Donald Trump visit to Ireland
Readers have reacted to the Taoiseach's confirmation that an invitation to Donald Trump still stands
Independent.ie readers have had their say on the prospect of a Donald Trump visit to Ireland.
More than 1,500 votes were cast on the question of whether Trump should visit Ireland or not, after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed he would be honouring an invitation to the US president first issued by Enda Kenny.
Some 52.2pc of poll respondents answered 'no' to the question 'Should Donald Trump be invited to Ireland?', with 47.8pc answering yes.
Independent.ie readers may cast one vote per device.
Readers also took to our Facebook page to voice their opinion on the invitation:
Ah leave him where he is thanks ..... you could even send a few of our own to him instead with a one way ticket !!!
Sure you would be mad not to. You can play Trump big time. Stroke his ego and we'll get more trade etcetc. Plus, as the President of the United States, you should invite him, regardless of your personal feelings.
Please dont invite him on my behalf....
Money should be spent on something more important. Hospitals housing
Speaking at an event in Washington today ahead of his official visit to the White House on Thursday Mr Varadkar said it was "normal hospitality" to return the invitation.
"The invitation that Taoiseach Enda Kenny made to Donald Trump (last year) stands," he said.
"Donald Trump has invited me to Washington DC. He has invited me to his house and I think it is just normal hospitality that when someone invites you their house and their country that you reciprocate the invitation.
"I'm not into golf so I won't be playing golf with him if he comes to Doonbeg but perhaps it will be an opportunity for him to potentially visit some of the Irish companies that invest in the US."
He also indicated that he felt the US President would be interested in visiting the border region having spoke to him about it during a brief phonecall shortly after Mr Varadkar became Taoiseach.
"I know that's something he expressed an interest in when we spoke on the phone some months ago. He was very interested in that," Mr Varadkar said.
The Taoiseach said there has been no indication from the White House on whether Mr Trump plans to take up the existing offer. Mr Trump visited California - the most populous state in the United States - for the first time as President only this week, some 14 months since he was inaugurated.
The decision has been met with mixed reaction from opposition politicans.
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said
“On the issue of the President of the United States coming to Ireland that in the first instance is a call for the Taoiseach and for the diplomatic services but again where America can bring something positive to bear and make a positive contribution to our process I think we should always be open to that,” Ms McDonald said,
“I don't think for a moment that inviting another head of state should be read as endorsing or sharing their political views on things. But let's be honest, the stakes for Ireland now in light of Brexit, the challenges we face in getting the Northern administration up an running are very very great.
"I do think we can benefit from American influence in that but ultimately we will have to do the heavy lifting [ourselves],” she added.
Labour Party Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin also hit out the extension of the invitation describing it as an "outrage".
“We are better than that. We are the nation of coffin ships and immigration, of seeking refuge and fleeing violence, of overcoming discrimination and religious intolerance," he said.
“Trump has no place in Ireland. The Taoiseach insults us all by inviting him."