In a move which is bound to cause contention, An Taoiseach has confirmed that US President Donald Trump is welcome to visit Ireland in November.
Varadkar attended the All-Ireland final and was interviewed afterwards about the Dublin win on the radio programme The Marty Squad. During the interview, Marty Morrissey brought up the amount of praise An Taoiseach had received for the speech he gave during the Papal visit and followed with the issue of Donald Trump coming to Ireland.
Varadkar said the announcement of the visit had come out of the blue: “We did not know until a few days ago that he was going to take the opportunity of the Armistice visit in Paris to visit Dublin and he is also going to go to Doonbeg.” Trump will meet with An Taoiseach and also possibly the Irish President.
While not terribly popular abroad anyway, Trump has come under fire from the queer community for his government’s appalling treatment of LGBT+ people, this includes attempting to ban trans people from the military, rolling back on LGBT+ rights, giving known homophobes high-ranking positions and failing to recognise Pride in the US.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar tells RTÉ Radio 1's The Marty Squad that confirmation of US President Donald Trump's visit to Dublin and Doonbeg in November came 'out of the blue' pic.twitter.com/REdyya0EIW
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) September 2, 2018
Despite this, openly gay Varadkar said: “I know a lot of people dislike him. A lot of people object to him, a lot of people disagree with a lot of his policies, just as I do in fact, but he is the President of America. He is elected according to their rules, and the relationship between Ireland and the United States is so strong and so important, much more important than any Irish government or any US administration and I think we have to treat his office with the respect that it deserves.”
Continuing, Varadkar explained: “There is an open invitation to the US president to visit Ireland at any time, I think they’ve all visited since Reagan, if not before and obviously there’s an open invitation for me, or any future Taoiseach, to attend Washington in March.”
There have been calls for mass protest during the visit, with the leaders of the Labour Party, the Green Party and People Before Profit indicating they will join in.
It also appears likely the infamous giant Donald Trump baby balloon will pay a visit. One of its creators, Kevin Smith, said “We’ve been so inspired by all the people in the streets in Ireland that have been fighting for things like gay marriage and abortion rights, so we’re presuming there’s going to be a massive show of resistance to Trump’s politics of hate and division and it would be an honour for the Trump baby to be part of that.”
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