Thursday 13 December 2018

'The US President is always welcome in Ireland' - Donald Trump announces Irish visit

US President Donald Trump (Timothy D Easley/AP)
US President Donald Trump (Timothy D Easley/AP)
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

US President Donald Trump will visit Ireland for two days in November.

In what will be a major diplomatic headache for the Government, sources confirmed he has accepted an invitation issued by Leo Varadkar on St Patrick's Day.

It is understood Mr Trump will spend one day in Dublin and one day in Co Clare where he owns a golf course.

In a statement the Irish Government said tonight: "The Taoiseach understands that President Trump will stop in Ireland for a brief visit on his way to or from the Armistice commemorations in Paris.

"It will be an opportunity to follow up on the issues discussed in the White House in March including migration, trade, climate change and human rights issues."

The White House said: "President Donald J. Trump will travel to Paris, France, to participate in a November 11 commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting in World War I.

"The President’s participation in this event will highlight the sacrifices that Americans have made, not only during World War I but also in the century since, in the name of liberty.

"While in Europe, the President also will visit Ireland to renew the deep and historic ties between our two nations."

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has welcomed the news.

He said: "The US President is always welcome in Ireland.

"Our two countries have such strong historic, economic, cultural and family ties. Maintaining those connections is always a top priority."

Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan called for Irish people to show their disgust and rejection of the Trump administration's policies by turning out for mass protests around the country.

"Donald Trump's administration champions policies that are destroying our planet, destabilising international order, and reaching new political depths by appealing to racism, misogyny, xenophobia and hatred," Mr Ryan said.

"These policies do not reflect the Irish people's values - we need to show him and the world that this is not normal.

"Decency, integrity and fact-based politics still exist and are worth defending. We're calling on Irish people to tell our Government to cancel this visit; and for them to demonstrate in never-before-seen numbers should they fail to do so."

It is the first time that Mr Trump has visited Ireland since he entered the White House at the start of 2017.

It follows a meeting between the president and Irish premier Leo Varadkar at the White House in March, when the trip was first floated.

Asked by reporters if he intended to visit, he said: "I will. I love it, I love it.

"I have property there and I might not get to see it again, but I will."

Mr Trump's last major trip to Ireland came soon after he bought the golf club.

Rather than arriving in Air Force One, he touched down at Shannon airport in his own private plane in May 2014 - with officials rolling out a red carpet to greet him.

He had secured the site in the west of Ireland after losing a legal challenge to block an offshore wind farm project within sight of his Scottish golf resort.

  • With additional reporting from the Press Association

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