Confusion as White House 'still finalising' decision on Donald Trump's visit to Ireland

Latest: There is confusion about whether Donald Trump has postponed a planned trip to Ireland this autumn.

A spokesman for the Irish Government has said the visit is not happening for scheduling reasons.

However, the White House has said it is still finalising whether the US President will stop in Ireland as part of a trip to Paris for Armistice commemoration celebrations.

President Trump's press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said: “The president will travel to Paris in November as previously announced.

"We are still finalising whether Ireland will be a stop on that trip. As details are confirmed we will let you know.”

An Irish Government spokesperson said: "Our statement reflects what the Irish ambassador to the US was informed by the US authorities.

"We note the statement from Sarah Sanders. If there are further developments we will let you know."

6.42pm: 'The relief is palpable in Government' as Donald Trump's visit to Ireland is called off

The Irish Examiner's Daniel McConnell has said the sense of relief in government is "palpable".

Mr McConnell said: "Ireland generally has an attitude of being respectful and kind officially to foreign visitors, but Donald Trump, like George W Bush previously, is a very controversial figure.

"There are an awful lot of people, even within Government, who would not have been happy with his presence here in Ireland, but you can generally tell from Government buildings anyway, the relief is palpable."

4.13pm: Government confirms Donald Trump's visit to Ireland is off

The planned visit to Ireland by US President Donald Trump has been cancelled.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, an Irish Government spokesman has said: "I can confirm the proposed visit of the US President is postponed. The US side has cited scheduling reasons."

Mr Trump was due to stop off in Ireland on his way back from Armistice commemoration celebrations in France on November 11.

It had been understood Mr Trump would spend up to two days in Ireland, with engagements in Dublin and Doonbeg, but that has now been cancelled following talks between Irish officials and the White House.

The Irish Government had come in for criticism over the planned visit even from within its own ranks with Independent Alliance ministers Shane Ross, Finian McGrath and John Halligan saying they were prepared to protest against Mr Trump's policies.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Tanaiste Simon Coveney had defended the proposed visit saying the links between Ireland and the US go beyond any one individual president.

Irish Government sources have confirmed to the Irish Examiner that talks between US and Irish officials were due to take place today and it is expected the US State Department is due to release a statement this evening.

It is not clear whether the entire European trip by Mr Trump is to be cancelled or whether it is just the Irish leg of the trip.

It is believed An advance party from the White House and US Secret Service was due to visit Ireland in the coming weeks to plan the trip but that will not now happen.

No official comment from Dublin or Washington has been forthcoming.

Labour Senator Aodhán O Ríordáin has welcomed the announcement saying that President Trump is "the face of hate, racism and division".

Senator Ó Ríordáin said: “Clearly the outpouring of objections to this visit has had the desired effect as President Trump has decided not to come to Ireland”

“The mishandling of this entire episode by the government has certainly shone an uncomfortable light on their real attitude to the international rise of the far right and how best to challenge it.

“Mr Trump is the face of hate, racism and division."

"The organisation I helped found - Irish Stand - has consistently criticized the hypocrisy of Irish-Americans supporting this man considering the immigrant history of the Irish.

"It must now be the absolute focus of all peace-loving democrats in Ireland to give whatever help they can to candidates in America who will challenge his regime in the mid-term elections this November.”

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