Monday 15 July 2019

Thousands attend anti-Trump demonstration in Dublin - as US President enjoys casual dinner party at Doonbeg

Stan Simberg, from New York, who travelled to the UK and Ireland to protest against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to UK and Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Stan Simberg, from New York, who travelled to the UK and Ireland to protest against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to UK and Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Elizabeth Jaimes, from Kildare (Mexican-American) taking part in the protest against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of Trump baby blimp during protest against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
6 Jun 2019; General view of Trump baby blimp during protest against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Ian Begley, Nicola Anderson and David Raleigh

Just as the US President touched down at Shannon Airport, an inflatable, nappy wearing Trump, took to the skies above Dublin.

Thousands of demonstrators assembled at the Garden of Remembrance today, including the famous inflatable Trump baby, to protest the American leader’s visit to Ireland. 

For the occasion, organisers received special permission from the Irish Aviation Authority to fly the snarling six-metre blimp, which had been transported from London. 

A coalition of civic society organisations and political parties led the colourful demonstrators down through O’Connell Street and College Green before returning to Parnell Square.

Many made their opposition to Donald Trump crystal clear by carrying placards bearing slogans that critiqued his most controversial policies, such as "Fu*k you and your guns”, “No wall, no borders”, and “Trump is a climate denier”.

Others held signs that directly displayed their objection towards his visit to Ireland, like "No greedy bully wanted here", "Impeach the eejit" and "Be a good yank and go home".

General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

The rally, coordinated under the umbrella group Stop Trump Ireland, featured numerous speakers, including asylum seeker Lesley Mkoko from Swaziland.

"I represent Ireland Against Racism and am here today to stand against a tyrant," he said. 

General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

"We have to fight racism in all its forms and show our support for asylum seekers, the undocumented Irish in the US and also the LGBT+ community. 

"It’s disgraceful that the Irish government have stood idly by and done nothing while Trump continues to cause so much harm to so many," he said. 

American-Mexican national Elizabeth Jaimes (37) told Independent.ie that many Mexican students in Ireland are "repulsed" by the US president’s visit. 

"Since his campaign, Trump has painted every Mexican as criminals who want to illegally sneak across the border to claim benefits off the government," she said.

General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

"There are a lot of Mexican college students across Ireland who are really repulsed by his visit and how Leo Varadkar hasn't called him out on his racist polices," she said. 

Many children also attended the demonstration with their parents, including brothers Conall (11) and Fiach O’Bryon (10) from Dublin’s North Strand.

General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of protesters against the visit of USA president Donald Trump to Ireland. Garden of Remembrance, Parnell Square, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

"We just don’t like how he's treating kids in Mexico," said Conall. 

"He just doesn’t seem like a nice person and I’m really surprised that people voted for him in the first place," he said. 

Meanwhile, protests in Shannon are still in full swing as Trump returned to Co Clare after attending a D-Day commemoration in France. 

The Wheeler women from Ennistymon, Co Clare have been protesting visiting US Presidents here for nearly forty years.

Fiona Wheeler, along with her daughter Aisling, and her four-year old granddaughter Freya, were among the contingent at the Shannonwatch Peace Camp, at Shannon Airport.

"We are supposed to be a neutral country, yet we have consistently allowed American military planes through Shannon. No planes have ever been examined. They do what they like here," says Fiona (68).

Born in 1950, she has participated in demonstrations since she was sixteen, and has protested every Irish visit by a US President.

"I think, of all of the US presidents, Donald Trump is the most dangerous thing that the world has ever seen," she says.

She’s also protesting over Trump’s controversial views that a lot of the evidence presented on Climate Change is fake news.

"Thankfully I won’t live long enough to have to live through a lot of it, but my daughter and grandchildren will," she added. 

"According to him [global warming] is fake news. He may have the money to build himself and underground silo, but the rest of us don't." 

Others who travelled to Shannon included Trump supporters Catherine Purcell from Thurles, Co Tipperary, and Co Laois couple Sheila and Larry Sheehan.

Holding a large poster "GOD BLESS TRUMP", Purcell said: "We love Donald Trump. He is a man of god and god is using him for good.

"My sister-in-law has lived in New York for forty years and she said they absolutely love him in America. 

"I’m a Christian and Donald is a Christian and he stands up for the Christians rights and he’s the only US President who had the guts to move the (us) embassy to Jerusalem. Many presidents said they would do it but they never did," she added.

Asked what she thought of other’s describing Mr Trump as a 'racist, sexist, misogynist', she replied: "I’m here to support Donald because there is so much negativity going around about the man. 

"We elected a President, not a Saint," she said.

The US President arrived back in Doonbeg before 6pm this evening to prepare for a dinner with a select group of Irish guests. 

They included Irish Ambassador to the US Dan Mulhall, Waterford TD John Deasy and Kerry senator Mark Daly. 

The American guests included Eric and Donald Trump Jnr, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and National Security Advisor John Bolton. 

A photograph of the dinner was tweeted by Stephen Kearon, a former government Fianna Fáil adviser which showed Mr Trump in relaxed mood, with the White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee on his right, while First Lady Melania was on his left.

The meal was held in the Club House restaurant which is in the public rather than the private members area of the resort and which has an informal vibe, with no tablecloth and the President appeared to have an almost empty plastic bottle of Diet Coke at his place.

The dress code appeared to be smart casual.

He will fly out of Shannon Airport at 2.30pm tomorrow after playing a round of golf at his resort in the morning. 

The President wants a four-ball with local golfers and will be followed on the course by a number of groups. It’s understood his Mr Mulvaney will play alongside Mr Deasy, who is a government envoy in Washington. 

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