Sunday 15 September 2019

US Vice-President Pence planning Irish visit

Trip: Vice-President Mike Pence may arrive in September. Picture: PA
Trip: Vice-President Mike Pence may arrive in September. Picture: PA
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

The Government is in talks with the White House over the planned visit of US Vice-President Mike Pence.

Mr Pence has expressed an interest in travelling to Ireland and discussions to facilitate a visit are ongoing.

It is believed that a possible trip in September is being looked at, but there has not yet been any official confirmation.

It follows US President Donald Trump's visit to Ireland last month, during which he spent two nights at his golf resort in Doonbeg, Co Clare.

Vice-President Pence has family connections in Sligo and Clare, which may form part of any future visit.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said: "The US vice-president has indicated his wish to visit Ireland this year. While the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has had contact with the US administration on the proposed visit, it remains unconfirmed."

In March, Mr Pence, who has been criticised for his views on LGBT rights, hosted the Taoiseach at his Washington residence as part of a St Patrick's Day event.

The Taoiseach was accompanied by his partner Matt Barrett for the shamrock ceremony.

The Taoiseach delivered a carefully crafted speech advocating for LGBT rights in the presence of Mr Pence. In his speech he said as leader of his country he was "judged by my political actions and not by my sexual orientation or my skin tone or my gender or religious beliefs".

"And I don't believe my country is the only one in the world where this story is possible," he added. "It is found in every country where freedom and liberty are cherished. We are, after all, all God's children."

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section