Sunday 26 May 2019

Trump visit here may be confined to Doonbeg over security concerns

Travel plans: US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump depart the White House. Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Travel plans: US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump depart the White House. Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

US President Donald Trump is considering a stopover in Ireland as part of his state visit to Europe later this year.

However, the controversial president's visit could be confined to his luxury golf resort in Doonbeg, Co Clare, for security reasons. The news follows the White House announcing Mr Trump would visit the UK and France in June.

But there remained confusion over any potential Trump visit as a US source last night insisted no further announcements were imminent.

The US president was due to visit Ireland last November but the trip was cancelled due to scheduling difficulties.

Yesterday, a well-placed source said Mr Trump is actively considering taking up the Government's long-standing invitation to visit Ireland.

However, the source said it could be "easier" if Mr Trump met Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at his golf resort in Clare rather than travel to Dublin where there would be a need for heightened city-wide security.

"They are definitely considering a visit but the final call has not yet been made," the source said. "They are waiting for the president to make his mind up and that might happen in the next two hours or over the next two weeks."

The source said there was precedence for holding bilateral meetings outside of Dublin as former US president George W Bush met Bertie Ahern in the Clare-based Dromoland Castle in 2004. The president could meet the Taoiseach in Farmleigh, before flying on to Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Doonbeg.

"Trump will have a lot of US media with him and he will want images of his golf course beamed back to America."

Last year, the Government was blindsided by the announcement that Mr Trump planned to come to Ireland and it was similarly left in the dark before the president called off the visit. In March, Mr Trump said he was disappointed not to visit Ireland.

Irish Independent

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