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'I put the words about Trump in Enda Kenny's mouth and he repeated it. I'm glad he said it'

Richard Boyd Barrett says he’s happy the Taoiseach spoke out against Trump.

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RICHARD BOYD BARRETT was one of a group of left-wing TDs and politicians behind an anti-Trump umbrella group set up earlier this summer to protest the then-presumptive GOP nominee’s planned visit to Ireland.

In the end, the businessman’s Co Clare trip never came to pass – he touched down in Scotland instead, landing the morning after the Brexit vote, and staging a very odd press conference on the edge of a cliff on one of his golf courses.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie for an interview this week, Boyd Barrett said he would continue to speak out against the Republican.

The Anti Austerity Alliance -People Before Profit TD said he was glad Enda Kenny had also voiced his opposition to Trump and his policies, in response to one of his own Dáil questions earlier this year.

Initially, the Taoiseach would not be drawn on Trump’s latest comments – or on the government’s intentions, if the mogul were elected to the White House.

Kenny said the decision of who should be the next president of the US was a “matter for the American people”.

The world will have to deal with their decision.

However – surprising most in the Dáil – Kenny added:

If Donald Trump’s comments are racist and dangerous – which they are – there is an alternative to vote for.

Speaking this week Boyd Barrett reflected:

I literally put the words in his mouth and he repeated them, because that is what I thought and that is what huge numbers of people think. Now whether he was off-balance or whether he said what he thought or he thought he should say it, I don’t actually know, but I am glad he did say it.

He acknowledged what many people who are in any way progressive recognise – that Trump is a very dangerous, racist, xenophobic, misogynistic, awful character and a war-monger to boot. I think it is good that it was said in the Dáil.

Trump not welcome

At the start of June Trump initially tweeted that he would drop in on Doonbeg in Clare, where he also has a golf resort.

The ‘Trump Not Welcome’ group, which Boyd Barrett was part of, was launched shortly afterwards.

At the time, he insisted the group’s efforts had clearly had an effect – adding that Trump’s decision to cancel his visit to Ireland was to be welcomed.

At the time, he said the businessman was “running scared” – describing him as a “pariah”.

According to Boyd Barrett, any concerns about what Trump represents should not be pushed to the sidelines, in the wake the publicity that greeted the politician’s planned trip at the start of the summer.

Voters here need to think about “what it says about the sentiments and disillusionment with the political system in the US – and how that can turn in a very nasty way”.

People should be equally concerned about the rise of the far-right in Europe, he added.

I think it is terrifying. The rise of the far-right, of racism, of fascist organisations – it is absolutely shocking. We have racism here, but thankfully it is not manifested in any far-right political party and we should be very grateful for that.

He insisted it was within the bounds of possibility that such movements could take hold here in Ireland too.

It is a real danger that it could happen here.

  • Read the full interview with Richard Boyd Barrett on TheJournal.ie tomorrow at 7.45am. 

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