Trump’s Irish visit: Stick to protocol to sort this row

It would be mendacious to suggest that excitement and joy is mounting across Ireland in anticipation of a possible visit in June by the president of the United States.

Trump’s Irish visit: Stick to protocol to sort this row

It would be mendacious to suggest that excitement and joy is mounting across Ireland in anticipation of a possible visit in June by the president of the United States.

He is not the Pope. If he does fly in for a one-night stay, most of us will never get to see him, and even fewer will have the opportunity to tell him what we think of his policies.

But even before such a visit changes from the likely to the definite, the word from Washington DC is that Mr Trump might, after his official business in Britain and France, squeeze in a trip to Scotland, where he has a golf resort, instead of Ireland, where he also has a golf course.

The reported cause of the uncertainty is a disagreement between the president and the Taoiseach about the venue for a meeting, the latter’s preference being the five-star Dromoland Castle, Mr Trump’s being his five-star Doonbeg golf links hotel.

Governments have protocol departments to sort out this sort of nonsense.

If the travelling head of state owns property in the country he or she is visiting, and chooses to make that their base, is the visit private or official?

If it’s private, is he or she obliged to meet the country’s leader for a photo opportunity and a chat about matters of the moment, Iran, Mexican border walls, misogyny, abortion laws and golf?

If there is to be a meeting of minds what venues offer the best options for the police and security agencies?

Terrorism is the prime risk.

While five-star 16th-century Dromoland Castle might be just the job for keeping at bay the great unwashed, who will exercise their right in a free country such as this to wave banners telling the president to go home?

More in this section

Lunchtime
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up
Revoiced
Newsletter

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up