SUZANNE HARRINGTON: Trump visit would have stretched our hospitality

So King Baby isn’t coming. We can all, starting with Leo Varadkar, exhale as one.

A giant sigh of Irish relief can gust through the land, knowing that our good manners as a nation does not mean we have to extend any céad míle fáiltes to the international equivalent of a hideous distant relative turning up uninvited for Sunday lunch. Drunk. In Trump’s case, on power.

“Real power is fear,” Trump said in an interview with Bob Woodward in April 2016. 

This provided Woodward, perhaps the most respected investigative journalist on the planet, who has covered nine US presidents and broke the Watergate scandal, with the title of his new book, Fear: Trump In The White House. Trump describes the book as “a work of fiction.” 

Of course he does.

There is, says Woodward, “a war on truth.” So who do we believe — the creator of 47 years worth of Pulitzer Prize -winning journalism, or the former reality television presenter currently creating chaos in the White House?

“We were looking forward to it,” said a member of Doonbeg’s business community, of Trump’s cancelled visit. 

These days, you have to check and double check to sift parody from fact, satire from fantasy, truth from made-up gobbledegook. 

Yet Doonbeg residents really did express regret, in the actual mainstream media, with apparently straight faces. 

Trump visit would have stretched our hospitality 

Doonbeg was ready with its céad míle fáiltes, and “disappointed” that Trump has “postponed” his stopover.

You can’t blame Doonbeg for wanting the business it believes Trump’s visit would bring — sales of rotten tomatoes would undoubtedly soar — but this is only because Doonbeg is small and remote, and Trump’s enterprise there provides a few hundred local jobs. Hello power, hello fear.

In Trump’s White House, the fear that stalks its powerful corridors is Godzilla sized. 

When Woodward requested to meet Trump to interview him for his book, he asked “six or seven” close associates of the President to set up a meeting. 

Trump denies ever being asked. 

Such is the culture of fear around the current occupier of the Oval Office that his own staff were afraid to ask him.

Instead, we hear about stealth resistance within the White House, like some kind of Star Wars subplot. 

How, for instance, Trump’s former chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, reportedly snatched documents from his boss’s desk, before Trump could action them. 

Gary Cohn
Gary Cohn

To protect the US from being nuked, allegedly. No Star Wars plot could be so far- fetched. 

Cohn did this, Woodward told ABC, “to purposefully block some of the President’s most dangerous impulses.” 

He says the White House is in the midst of a “nervous breakdown.”

The punchline? Trump forgot about the unsigned documents seconds later.

Meanwhile, apart from the disappointed of Doonbeg, it looks like Ireland has dodged a bullet. 

Neither our hospitality nor our hypocrisy levels will be stretched to breaking point.

So when it comes to rescheduling the visit, how’s never, Donald? Is never good for you?

More on this topic

Donald Trump announces trade deal to halt new China tariffsDonald Trump announces trade deal to halt new China tariffs

Committee approves articles of impeachment against Donald TrumpCommittee approves articles of impeachment against Donald Trump

US and China near deal that would suspend planned tariffsUS and China near deal that would suspend planned tariffs

Trump impeachment vote abruptly postponedTrump impeachment vote abruptly postponed


Want to be cultured this Christmas? From TV to podcasts to books, Ed Power has the definite list of everything you missed this year - so you can curl up on the couch and catch upThe definite list of everything you missed this year

Artist Ciara Rodgers teaches older people how to rediscover their creativity and regain confidence, says Rowena WalshBrush with art: Discovering your creative side in later life

Furniture, paintings, jewellery and silver are on offer at James Adam in Dublin, writes Des O’SullivanAll set for home run: See what's on offer at the James Adam sale in Dublin

It’s not too late to hunt out a unique gift. Des O’Sullivan previews sales in the lead-up to the festive seasonA flurry of auctions in Munster sets the scene for Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner