- With reporting from Christina Finn in Washington D.C.Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube
TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has met with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office in the White House.
As the pair shook hands and posed for photographs following a private meeting, Trump confirmed to reporters that he intends to visit Ireland.
“I really love Ireland, I’ll be there absolutely,” Trump said in response to a question.
Kenny later confirmed that Trump agreed to come to Ireland after he extended an invite to the US President.
“We had a good, friendly and constructive engagement,” Kenny told reporters in the White House lawn after the photocall.
“The president also referred to hospitality and is very well acquainted with the golf courses of Ireland.”
And finally, I said in Ireland invitations are always returned and returned in kind. And so during the course of his presidency of the United States I’ve asked him to come to Ireland and he hopes to do that some time during the course of his presidency.
During the Oval Office photocall, a number of other reporters then attempted to ask questions of the pair but a White House staffer attempted to end the interaction by repeating the phrase: “Thank you press”.
One Irish reporter then asked whether Kenny’s previous comments about Trump’s language being “racist and dangerous” was raised during their meeting.
There was no response to the query.
Briefing reporters about their meeting, Kenny said the pair discussed a range of issues including Brexit, the Irish economy and immigration.
“The president asked a number of questions about what the hard border meant in the past and I pointed out to him about customs posts and the sectarian violence that came with it,” Kenny said.
“I also spoke to him about the difficulties Brexit would have for Ireland and for Northern Ireland and I pointed out the economic indicators that show we’d be the most adversely affected.”
President Trump asked quite a number of questions about the Irish economy, the drop in unemployment the rise in employment, the improvement in our growth rates. He was very complementary to the people of Ireland for having had the courage to make those decisions and make the many sacrifices they have made over the past number of years.
“I also spoke to him about immigration, and it’s important to make particular note of this here, of the fact that the president is interested in this and we had a very beneficial, constructive discussion about this,” Kenny said.
Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTubeFor those who are undocumented, among them many millions who are in America who are undocumented . The president was actually surprised at the figure, I think he might have thought it would be a higher figure.I would say to Irish people who are undocumented, that if there are small issues like parking fines or traffic lights or whatever, they should clear those up through legal people whether they be in any city. And that’s an issue which can lift the fear, concern and anxiety that any Irish people may have.
Kenny also said that he told Trump that Ireland would always be a “friend of America”.
Ireland will always be a friend of America, the European Union will always be a friend of America and that cooperation between these two most developed economic regions of the planet will be for the mutual benefit of millions of people in Europe and the United States.
At another gathering following the meeting, Trump then recited what he said was a proverb.
“As we stand together with our Irish friends, I’m reminded of that proverb and this is one I like, this is a good one, this is one I’ve heard for many years and I love it,” he said.
Always remember to forget the friends that proved untrue, but never forget to remember those that have stuck by you.
“We know that, politically speaking we know that,” Trump added.
Later this evening, the pair met in the White House for the traditional exchange of a bowl of shamrock.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny he wanted to sincerely thank President Trump “for so graciously continuing this great tradition of hospitality which means so much to us all”.
I am proud to have the opportunity to contribute to maintaining and developing relations between Ireland and the United States, particularly at the beginning of a new era in our relationship following your election, Mr. President.
Let me congratulate you and wish you the very best as you begin your term of office. The job is exceptionally demanding and difficult. The United States remains the most influential, as well as, the most powerful country in the world. You hold the hopes and future of America, and indeed the world, in your hands.
I want to thank the President for giving so much of his time to this visit. We had an excellent meeting this morning in the Oval Office where we discussed a variety of important issues of mutual concern. I want to assure you of our commitment to working closely with you and your administration as you face the many challenges ahead.
Trump told the East Room of the White House that America is “an always loyal friend” to Ireland.
The US president said the Irish people have enriched America in inexplicable ways and they always will.
Referring to Ireland as America’s “faithful partner” and “loyal friend” he said the US “will always be there for you”.