Leo Varadkar: Trump would be welcomed to Ireland

The Government will not be afraid to raise disagreements with president-elect Donald Trump through “robust engagement” and would welcome him to Ireland, Leo Varadkar has said.

The Minister for Social Protection said he would confront Mr Trump on his views on immigration, women, and climate change.

However, he disagreed with Minister John Halligan who dubbed Mr Trump a “head-banger” and claimed he should not be welcomed here.

Mr Varadkar said shunning political leaders is not the right direction to take. “John is very outspoken and a very independent minister and he is entitled to his views. I profoundly disagree with what he said, I am not going to use that terminology. I don’t think they should be shunned, I don’t think they should be boycotted, I don’t think we should take away other people’s freedom of speech or right to tolerance, I think what we should do is engage with the administration.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane show, Mr Varadkar said the Government should be confident in its values and disagreements on Mr Trump’s policies.

He said he would like to invite US vice president-elect Mike Pence — who has previously taken up extreme anti-gay positions — to Ireland to tell him his own personal story.

More on this topic

Trump brands reports of Russian bounties for killing US troops ‘fake news’Trump brands reports of Russian bounties for killing US troops ‘fake news’

Republicans urge action following briefing on Russian bounties allegationRepublicans urge action following briefing on Russian bounties allegation

Reddit and Twitch clamp down on Trump-backing forums over hate speechReddit and Twitch clamp down on Trump-backing forums over hate speech

Donald Trump denies briefing on reported bounties against US troopsDonald Trump denies briefing on reported bounties against US troops


Lifestyle

Like it or not, video meetings are here to stay. Home editor Eve Kelliher gets an expert's secrets to preparing interiors for their close-up.How to ensure your home is always camera-ready in the Zoom era

Tougher plants, smaller plots and more communal spaces will grow in popularity, says Hannah Stephenson.What will gardens of the future look like?

Ciara McDonnell chats with four women who’ve decided to embrace their natural hair colour after time away from the salonBack to my roots: Four women who've decided to embrace their natural hair colour

Allowing your children to lead the way is the key to fun outdoor play, and there are many things you can build or buy to help them along, says Kya deLongchampsGarden adventures: Allowing your children to lead the way is the key to fun outdoor play

More From The Irish Examiner