Donald Trump plans November visit to Ireland

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has promised to raise human rights and migration issues with US president Donald Trump when he visits Ireland in November.

Donald Trump plans November visit to Ireland

By Daniel McConnell, Juno McEnroe, and Catherine Shanahan

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has promised to raise human rights and migration issues with US president Donald Trump when he visits Ireland in November.

At 8.40pm Irish time last night, the White House announced that Mr Trump will visit Ireland for two days as part of his planned trip to Europe to attend the 100th anniversary commemorations of the Armistice that ended the fighting of the First World War on November 11.

The visit will be Mr Trump’s first trip to Ireland since his inauguration as president of the US in January 2017.

It is understood that his trip will be split between Dublin and his Clare golf course in Doonbeg. An advance party of White House staff and security personnel is expected to travel to Ireland over the coming weeks to assess the logistics of the trip and to sound out accommodation possibilities.

Mr Trump was last in Ireland in 2014, when he was greeted by then finance minister Michael Noonan and other local officials at Shannon Airport as he exited his jet to red carpet treatment, which caused some controversy.

Both Enda Kenny and Leo Varadkar invited Mr Trump to Ireland during the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Washington in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Speaking alongside Mr Varadkar in the Oval Office in March, Mr Trump said he would “love to” visit Ireland, pointing out he had a golf course there.

look forward to being there. It’s a great country,” he said.

Last night, a spokesman for Mr Varadkar told the Irish Examiner: “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.”

However Mr Trump’s proposed visit, has not been universally welcomed.

Speaking last night to the Irish Examiner, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett criticised the decision to invite the US president here.

“Trump’s poisonous hate-filled and dangerous politics are not welcome here,” said Mr Boyd Barrett. “I think he will be met with a huge wave of public protest.

It is pretty shameful that Leo Varadkar would invite Trump here but I would urge anybody who opposes war and racism and believes in equality and peace to join protests that will certainly be organised against Trump.

Mr Trump bought the five-star Doonbeg Lodge and Golf Club for an estimated €15m in 2014.

Mr Varadkar drew criticism during his St Patrick’s Day White House trip when he revealed he contacted Fáilte Ireland when he was Minister for Tourism over a proposal to build a wind farm near the resort.

Clare County Council ultimately turned down the application for the windfarm.

Mr Trump’s visit will take place a week after the mid-term elections where Republicans are expected to face a tough battle to retain control of the House of Representatives and potentially the Senate.

The US president confirmed earlier this month that he would attend the centenary commemorations to mark the end of the First World War in Paris on November 11 after cancelling a proposed military parade in Washington.

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