Trump visit to Ireland postponed for ‘scheduling reasons’
LONDON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s planned November visit to Ireland has been postponed, the Irish government said Tuesday, though the White House said only that the trip was up in the air.
The government in Dublin confirmed in a statement that “the proposed visit of the U.S. president is postponed.” It said U.S. officials had “cited scheduling reasons.”
Earlier this month, the White House announced Trump would travel to Ireland as part of a trip including a Nov. 11 event in Paris marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Washington had said that Trump would visit Ireland “to renew the deep and historic ties between our two nations.”
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the president would travel to Paris as previously announced.
“We are still finalizing whether Ireland will be a stop on that trip,” she said.
Trump met with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the White House in March as part of the Irish leader’s annual St. Patrick’s Day holiday visit.
Varadkar said after Trump’s visit to Ireland was announced that it had come “a little bit out of the blue.”
“The relationship between Ireland and the U.S. is so strong and so important, much more important than any Irish government or any U.S. administration,” he told Irish broadcaster RTE. “I think we have to treat his office with the respect it deserves.”
Large protests had been expected, including the appearance of the “Trump baby” balloon that flew in London during the president’s visit to the U.K. in July.
Irish Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said last week that the visit “will be controversial, because everything Donald Trump does these days is controversial.” He added that the Irish government disagreed with Trump administration policies on climate change, migration, trade and other issues.
Trump’s family business operates a golf club on Ireland’s west coast. The Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg received approval late last year from a local government to build a wall to protect his course from rising seas.
The wall has been criticized by some local residents and environmentalists who say the structure will damage dunes in the area and a public beach.
Ken Thomas contributed from Washington.